Navigation Links
Study offers clues to beating hearing loss

Researchers at the University of Leeds have made a significant step forward in understanding the causes of some forms of deafness.

The Leeds team has discovered that the myosin 7 motor protein - found in the tiny hairs of the inner ear that pick up sound - moves and works in a different way from many other myosins.

Dr Michelle Peckham from the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences says: "We're really excited by this discovery as it could lead to new insights into certain forms of deafness. Mutations in this protein have been linked to hearing loss, particularly of the type connected to Usher syndrome, which is a form of degenerative deaf-blindness."

There are around 40 myosin motor proteins in the human body, the most familiar of which is the type of myosin found in skeletal and heart muscle. But all cells have many different kinds of myosin.

Dr Peckham says: "What's exciting about our findings is that we have found that, unlike muscle myosins, which have two heads, myosin 7 only has one. What's more, for the first time we've found how this myosin can be switched on and switched off. When switched off, the tip of its tail curls round and contacts the head, and switched on this contact is broken and the myosin stretches out. This knowledge should help inform any further studies into how a mutation can create problems in hearing."

Follow-up studies could include a more detailed analysis of the role of myosin 7 in Usher syndrome, an inherited genetic condition, which affects hearing, sight and balance. It can vary in its severity; in some cases a child may be born deaf and their sight may deteriorate during childhood, whilst in others the syndrome can go undetected into the teens when hearing and sight usually begins to deteriorate.

There is no cure for Usher syndrome and sufferers are usually offered assistance in managing their disabilities.

Dr Peckham says: "Our studies on how normal myosin 7 works pave the way for understanding how a defective myosin 7 protein in Usher patients results in deafness."


Contact: Jo Kelly
University of Leeds

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/11/2015)... MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology company that ... announce that it will be a Sponsor of the ... held November 17-19 in Hamburg , Germany.  ... iMedNet , MedNet,s easy-to-use, proven and affordable eClinical ... able to deliver time and cost savings of up to ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... November 4, 2015 --> ... report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market ... Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is ... by 2022. The market is estimated to expand at ... 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, ... for U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation ... and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq ... the preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the ... diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer and other ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 The Global Genomics ... professional and in-depth study on the current state ... ) , The report ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The ... markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today ... following conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) closed ... events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took place in Philadelphia, ... number of attendees in more than a decade. , “The 2015 Annual ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global ... competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve ... each state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: