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Hearing and Donuts (Brain and Bagels) Seminar
March 6 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Presenter: Robert Fettiplace, Professor, Neuroscience, UW Madison
Topic: Deafness Mutants Illuminate the Transduction Mechanism in Cochlear Hair Cells
Cochlear hair cells detect sound stimuli by displacements of their hair bundles, which open mechanically-sensitive ion channels and generate an electrical response. The molecular identity of the mechanically-sensitive transducer channel has been the subject of intense research, but it is still not fully understood. I shall present results on the channel derived from point mutations in a candidate protein TMC1, which alter hair cell transduction. These mutants all cause hair cell death and deafness through an unknown mechanism.