Mistaken identity in mechanotransduction

Hair cell from a bullfrog saccule Credit: © David P. Corey" />Hair cell from a bullfrog saccule Credit: © David P. Corey The paper: D.P. Corey et al., "TRPA1 is a candidate for the mechanosensitive transduction channel of vertebrate hair cells," Nature, 432:723-30, 2004. (Cited in 106 papers) The finding: The mechanotransducing ion channel responsible for auditory function in vertebrate hair cells was difficult to track down. David Corey at Harvard Un

Cathy Tran
Nov 30, 2006
<figcaption>Hair cell from a bullfrog saccule Credit: © David P. Corey</figcaption>
Hair cell from a bullfrog saccule Credit: © David P. Corey

The paper:

D.P. Corey et al., "TRPA1 is a candidate for the mechanosensitive transduction channel of vertebrate hair cells," Nature, 432:723-30, 2004. (Cited in 106 papers)

The finding:

The mechanotransducing ion channel responsible for auditory function in vertebrate hair cells was difficult to track down. David Corey at Harvard University and colleagues identified TRPA1 as a prime candidate after tracking the protein during development, identifying its location with antibodies, and inhibiting its expression.

The challenge:

The ratio of transduction channels to cell, says Corey, is "much, much lower" in inner ear hair cells than for cells of other sensory organs, making it extremely difficult to detect with antibodies.

The correction:

Corey's initial findings were "compelling," says Diana Bautista, a researcher in David Julius' lab at the University of California, San Francisco, but the verification of a definitive physiological...