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Int J Mol Med. 2011 Sep;28(3):311-4. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2011.716. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

The otoferlin interactome in neurosensory hair cells: significance for synaptic vesicle release and trans-Golgi network (Review).

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Division of Molecular Genetics, Institute of Human Genetics, University of Tübingen, Wilhelmstr 27, 72074 Tübingen, Germany.


Sound perception in terrestrial vertebrates relies on a structure in the inner ear consisting of the utriculus, sacculus and lagena. In mammals, the lagena has developed into the cochlea where mechanotransduction at ciliated cells leads to ion influx via regulated ion channels. To maintain proper Ca2+ concentration many cellular systems use a variety of functional proteins; the neurosensory systems use calcium-sensors like hippocalcin, visinin or recoverin. In cochlear hair cells the 230 kDa protein otoferlin has been suggested to play this role. While several observations support this hypothesis additional data argue for a more expanded functional profile of otoferlin. Evidence for otoferlin's multiple roles and newer results on otoferlin's interacting partners are presented and the existence of a protein complex as a functional unit ('interactome') in the cochlea and further tissues is suggested.

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