Assembling the puzzle of the operating auditory hairbundle
The hair bundles of the sensory cells play a central role in the processing of sounds by the cochlea. Various performances of auditory perception depend upon what biophysical and physiological environment the operating hair bundle can provide to its mechanoelectrical transduction (MET) channels. The project aims at building a more integrated view of the way the hair bundle works. Reaching this goal, requires to understand the interdependence of its functional building blocks and their dynamic interplay.
To this purpose, the objectives of the work are/
- To assemble components of the basal MET machinery
- To elucidate the coupling between MET and stereocilia F-actin polymerisation
- To understand the interplay between MET, waveform distortions, and masking
The hair bundle is a highly vulnerable structure, actually the main target structure of noise-induced hearing loss and hereditary deafness forms. As such, advances in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying its functioning will pave the way for the development of therapeutic approaches.