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The Structure of Tip Links and Kinocilial Links in Avian Sensory Hair Bundles

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 05:09 authored by Vladimir Tsuprun, Richard GoodyearRichard Goodyear, Guy Richardson
Recent studies have indicated that the tip links and kinocilial links of sensory hair bundles in the inner ear have similar properties and share a common epitope, and that cadherin 23 may also be a component of each link type. Transmission electron microscopy was therefore used to study and compare the fine structure of the tip links and kinocilial links in avian sensory hair bundles. Tannic acid treatment revealed a thin strand, 150¿200nm long and 8¿11nm thick, present in both link types. Fourier analysis of link images showed that the strand of both link types is formed from two filaments coiled in a helix-like arrangement with an axial period of 20¿25nm, with each filament composed of globular structures that are ~4nm in diameter. Differences in the radius and period of the helix-like structure may underlie the observed variation in the length of tip and kinocilial links. The similar helix-like structure of the tip links and kinocilial links is in accord with the presence of a common cell-surface antigen (TLA antigen) and similarities in the physical and chemical properties of the two link types. The spacing of the globular structures comprising each filament of the two link types is similar to the 4.3nm center-to-center spacing reported for the globular cadherin repeat, and is consistent with the suggestion that cadherin 23 is the tip link.


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  • Published


Biophysical Journal







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  • Neuroscience Publications

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