Using a HeLa cell filopodia assay to investigate binding interactions of inner ear proteins crucial for hair cell development


Kate Romero

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2017

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2017, Jackson Laboratory


The deflection of stereocilia on hair bundles in the inner ear allows mechanical vibrations caused by sounds to be converted into intracellular signals that can be propagated to the brain. This mechanism is instrumental in the process of hearing (Schwander 2010). The Tarchini lab and others have identified proteins that are found at the tip of stereocilia, and which are essential for proper stereocilia development. This project aimed to investigate interactions among these proteins found at stereocilia tips. A significant positive interaction was detected between LGN and Gai3 with whirlin. Although whirlin does migrate to filopodia tips without a bait protein, there is a significantly larger amount found at tips if a bait protein is present to carry it. Similarly, while Eps8 was identified to have significant interactions with LGN and Gai3, it is also trafficked to filopodia tips at lower levels in the absence of a bait protein.

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