Intracellular Regulome Variability Along the Organ of Corti: Evidence, Approaches, Challenges, and Perspective.
Front Genet. 2018;9:156
Authors: Booth KT, Azaiez H, Jahan I, Smith RJH, Fritzsch B
The mammalian hearing organ is a regular array of two types of hair cells (HCs) surrounded by six types of supporting cells. Along the tonotopic axis, this conserved radial array of cell types shows longitudinal variations to enhance the tuning properties of basilar membrane. We present the current evidence supporting the hypothesis that quantitative local variations in gene expression profiles are responsible for local cell responses to global gene manipulations. With the advent of next generation sequencing and the unprecedented array of technologies offering high throughput analyses at the single cell level, transcriptomics will become a common tool to enhance our understanding of the inner ear. We provide an overview of the approaches and landmark studies undertaken to date to analyze single cell variations in the organ of Corti and discuss the current limitations. We next provide an overview of the complexity of known regulatory mechanisms in the inner ear. These mechanisms are tightly regulated temporally and spatially at the transcription, RNA-splicing, mRNA-regulation, and translation levels. Understanding the intricacies of regulatory mechanisms at play in the inner ear will require the use of complementary approaches, and most probably, a combinatorial strategy coupling transcriptomics, proteomics, and epigenomics technologies. We highlight how these data, in conjunction with recent insights into molecular cell transformation, can advance attempts to restore lost hair cells.
PMID: 29868110 [PubMed]