WBP2 encodes the WW domain-binding protein 2 that acts as a transcriptional coactivator for estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and progesterone receptor (PGR). We reported that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse, as well as in two deaf children, each carrying two different variants in the WBP2 gene. The earliest abnormality we detect in Wbp2-deficient mice is a primary defect at inner hair cell afferent synapses. This study defines a new gene involved in the molecular pathway linking hearing impairment to hormonal signalling and provides new therapeutic targets.
Keywords: glutamate excitotoxicity; hearing impairment; hormonal signalling; ribbon synapses; transcriptional coactivator.
© 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.