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TRPML3 mutations cause impaired mechano-electrical transduction and depolarization by an inward-rectifier cation current in auditory hair cells of varitint-waddler mice

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posted on 2023-06-08, 08:46 authored by Alexander F J Van Aken, Margaret Atiba-Davies, Walter Marcotti, Richard GoodyearRichard Goodyear, Jane E Bryant, Guy Richardson, Konrad Noben-Trauth, Corne Kros
TRPML3 (mucolipin-3) belongs to one of the transient-receptor-potential (TRP) ion channel families. Mutations in the Trpml3 gene cause disorganization of the stereociliary hair bundle, structural aberrations in outer and inner hair cells and stria vascularis defects, leading to deafness in the varitint-waddler (Va) mouse. Here we refined the stereociliary localization of TRPML3 and investigated cochlear hair cell function in varitint-waddler (Va(J)) mice carrying the TRPML3 < I362T/A419P > mutations. Using a TRPML3-specific antibody we detected a similar to 68 kDa protein with near-equal expression levels in cochlea and vestibule of wild-type and Va(J) mutants. At postnatal days 3 and 5, we observed abundant localization of TRPML3 at the base of stereocilia near the position of the ankle links. This stereociliary localization domain was absent in Va(J) heterozygotes and homozygotes. Electrophysiological recordings revealed reduced mechano-electrical transducer currents in hair cells from Va(J)/+ and Va(J)/Va(J) mice. Furthermore, FM1-43 uptake and [H-3]gentamicin accumulation were decreased in hair cells in cultured organs of Corti from Va(J)/+ and Va(J)/Va(J) mice. We propose that TRPML3 plays a critical role at the ankle-link region during hair-bundle growth and that an adverse effect of mutant TRPML3 on bundle development and mechano-electrical transduction is the main cause of hearing loss in Va(J)/+ mutant mice. Outer hair cells of Va(J)/Va(J) mice additionally had depolarized resting potentials due to an inwardly rectifying leak conductance formed by the mutant channels, leading over time to hair-cell degeneration and contributing to their deafness. Our findings argue against TRPML3 being a component of the hair-cell transducer channel.


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