Age-related changes in cochlear gene expression in normal and shaker 2 mice

J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2006 Sep;7(3):317-28. doi: 10.1007/s10162-006-0046-7. Epub 2006 Jun 23.


The vertebrate cochlea is a complex organ optimized for sound transduction. Auditory hair cells, with their precisely arranged stereocilia bundles, transduce sound waves to electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. Mutations in the unconventional myosin XV cause deafness in both human DFNB3 families and in shaker 2 (sh2) mice as a result of defects in stereocilia. In these mutant mice, hair cells have relatively normal spatial organization of stereocilia bundles but lack the graded, stair-step organization. We used sh2 mice as an experimental model to investigate the molecular consequences of the sh2 mutation in the Myo15 gene. Gene expression profiling with Affymetrix GeneChips in deaf homozygous (sh2/sh2) mice at 3 weeks and 3 months of age, and in age-matched, normal-hearing heterozygotes (+/sh2) identified only a few genes whose expression was affected by genotype, but a large number with age-associated changes in expression in both normal mice and sh2/sh2 homozygotes. Microarray data analyzed using Robust Multiarray Average identified Aim1, Dbi, and Tm4sf3 as genes with increased expression in sh2/sh2 homozygotes. These increases were confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Genes exhibiting altered expression with age encoded collagens and proteins involved in collagen maturation, extracellular matrix, and bone mineralization. These results identified potential cellular pathways associated with myosin XV defects, and age-associated molecular events that are likely to be involved in maturation of the cochlea and auditory function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Calcinosis / genetics
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / genetics
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / metabolism*
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / pathology
  • Hearing Loss / genetics
  • Hearing Loss / metabolism
  • Hearing Loss / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mutation*
  • Myosins / biosynthesis*
  • Myosins / genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods
  • POU Domain Factors / genetics


  • Myo15 protein, mouse
  • POU Domain Factors
  • POU3F4 protein, human
  • Myosins