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The espins are actin-bundling proteins of brush border microvilli and Sertoli cell-spermatid junctions. We have determined that espins are also present in hair cell stereocilia and have uncovered a connection between the espin gene and jerker, a recessive mutation that causes hair cell degeneration, deafness, and vestibular dysfunction. The espin gene maps(More)
An approximately 30-kD isoform of the actin-binding/ bundling protein espin has been discovered in the brush borders of absorptive epithelial cells in rat intestine and kidney. Small espin is identical in sequence to the COOH terminus of the larger ( approximately 110-kD) espin isoform identified in the actin bundles of Sertoli cell-spermatid junctional(More)
The espin actin-bundling proteins, which are the target of the jerker deafness mutation, caused a dramatic, concentration-dependent lengthening of LLC-PK1-CL4 cell microvilli and their parallel actin bundles. Espin level was also positively correlated with stereocilium length in hair cells. Villin, but not fascin or fimbrin, also produced noticeable(More)
The traditional theory of communicating hydrocephalus has implicated the bulk flow component of CSF motion; that is, hydrocephalus is generally understood as an imbalance between CSF formation and absorption. The theory that the cause of communicating hydrocephalus is malabsorption of CSF at the arachnoid villi is not substantiated by experimental evidence(More)
Espins are associated with the parallel actin bundles of hair cell stereocilia and are the target of mutations that cause deafness and vestibular dysfunction in mice and humans. Here, we report that espins are also concentrated in the microvilli of a number of other sensory cells: vomeronasal organ sensory neurons, solitary chemoreceptor cells, taste cells,(More)
We identified a group of actin-binding-bundling proteins that are expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) but are not detected in other neurons of the CNS. These proteins are novel isoforms of the actin-bundling protein espin that arise through the use of a unique site for transcriptional initiation and differential splicing. Light and electron(More)
Recessive mutations at the mouse pirouette (pi) locus result in hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction due to neuroepithelial defects in the inner ear. Using a positional cloning strategy, we have identified mutations in the gene Grxcr1 (glutaredoxin cysteine-rich 1) in five independent allelic strains of pirouette mice. We also provide sequence data of(More)
Varitint-waddler (Va and Va(J)) mice are deaf and have vestibular impairment, with inner ear defects that include the degeneration and loss of sensory hair cells. The semidominant Va mutation results in an alanine-to-proline substitution at residue 419 (A419P) of the presumed ion channel TRPML3. Another allele, Va(J), has the A419P mutation in addition to(More)
The espin actin-bundling proteins, which are the target of deafness mutations, are present in the parallel actin bundles of stereocilia and microvilli and appear to increase their steady-state length. Here, we report a new activity of the espins, one that depends on their enigmatic WH2 domain: the ability to assemble a large actin bundle when targeted to a(More)
We have developed an advantageous epithelial cell transfection model for examining the targeting, interactions, and mutations of hair cell proteins. When expressed in LLC-PK1-CL4 epithelial cells (CL4 cells), the outer hair cell protein prestin showed faithful domain-specific targeting to the basolateral plasma membrane. We examined the consequences of(More)