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Protein Essential for Converting Sound into Brain Signals Identified

06:24 EDT 29 Jun 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from some level of hearing loss—which includes approximately 74,000 children with profound, early-onset deafness—with almost 50 percent of these cases stemming from genetic causes. While, the cellular architecture and basic biology surrounding human auditory perception have been understood for quite some time, the underlying molecular mechanisms that mediate the conversion of sound waves into signals that the brain interprets as sound is still unclear. Now, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) have just published results identifying a crucial protein in the auditory translation process. Findings from the new study were published online today in Nature Communications through an article entitled “ CIB2 interacts with TMC1 and TMC2 and is essential for mechanotransduction in auditory hair cells .” CIB2, or calcium and integrin-binding protein 2, was found previously to be essential for the structure of stereocilia, the structures ...

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