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Gαi Proteins are Indispensable for Hearing

Beer-Hammer, S; Lee, SC; Mauriac, SA; Leiss, V; Groh, IAM; Novakovic, A; Piekorz, RP; ... Rüttiger, L; + view all (2018) Gαi Proteins are Indispensable for Hearing. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry , 47 (4) pp. 1509-1532. 10.1159/000490867. Green open access

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BACKGROUND/AIMS: From invertebrates to mammals, Gαi proteins act together with their common binding partner Gpsm2 to govern cell polarization and planar organization in virtually any polarized cell. Recently, we demonstrated that Gαi3-deficiency in pre-hearing murine cochleae pointed to a role of Gαi3 for asymmetric migration of the kinocilium as well as the orientation and shape of the stereociliary ("hair") bundle, a requirement for the progression of mature hearing. We found that the lack of Gαi3 impairs stereociliary elongation and hair bundle shape in high-frequency cochlear regions, linked to elevated hearing thresholds for high-frequency sound. How these morphological defects translate into hearing phenotypes is not clear. METHODS: Here, we studied global and conditional Gnai3 and Gnai2 mouse mutants deficient for either one or both Gαi proteins. Comparative analyses of global versus Foxg1-driven conditional mutants that mainly delete in the inner ear and telencephalon in combination with functional tests were applied to dissect essential and redundant functions of different Gαi isoforms and to assign specific defects to outer or inner hair cells, the auditory nerve, satellite cells or central auditory neurons. RESULTS: Here we report that lack of Gαi3 but not of the ubiquitously expressed Gαi2 elevates hearing threshold, accompanied by impaired hair bundle elongation and shape in high-frequency cochlear regions. During the crucial reprogramming of the immature inner hair cell (IHC) synapse into a functional sensory synapse of the mature IHC deficiency for Gαi2 or Gαi3 had no impact. In contrast, double-deficiency for Gαi2 and Gαi3 isoforms results in abnormalities along the entire tonotopic axis including profound deafness associated with stereocilia defects. In these mice, postnatal IHC synapse maturation is also impaired. In addition, the analysis of conditional versus global Gαi3-deficient mice revealed that the amplitude of ABR wave IV was disproportionally elevated in comparison to ABR wave I indicating that Gαi3 is selectively involved in generation of neural gain during auditory processing. CONCLUSION: We propose a so far unrecognized complexity of isoform-specific and overlapping Gαi protein functions particular during final differentiation processes.

Type: Article
Title: Gαi Proteins are Indispensable for Hearing
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1159/000490867
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1159/000490867
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND) (http://www.karger.com/Services/OpenAccessLicense). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes as well as any distribution of modified material requires written permission.
Keywords: Cochlear hair cell maturation, Deafness gene, Gαi3/GNAI3, Heterotrimeric G-proteins, Neural gain, Stereocilia bundle
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052847
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