Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11506947
Hear. Res. 2001 Aug;158(1-2):151-9
Using a PCR-based subtractive method on cDNA from 2-day-old mouse cochlea, we identified a gene encoding otogelin, Otog, an inner ear specific glycoprotein expressed in all acellular structures. Here, we provide evidence that otogelin is detected as early as embryonic day 10 in the otic vesicle. At this stage, otogelin is detected in the epithelial cells which do not overlap with the myosin VIIA-expressing cells, namely the precursors of the hair cells, thus arguing for an early commitment of the two cell populations. Analysis of otogelin spatiotemporal cell distribution allows a molecular tracing for the contribution of the cochlear and vestibular inner ear supporting cells to the formation of the acellular structures. Throughout embryonic and adult life, the expression of the otogelin gene as monitored by LacZ inserted into Otog, and the abundance of the protein are greater in the vestibule than in the cochlea. In adult, otogelin is still produced by the vestibular supporting cells, which argues for a continuous process of otogelin renewal in the otoconial membranes and cupulae. In contrast, in the tectorial membrane, otogelin should be a long-lasting protein since both the otogelin gene and protein were almost undetectable in adult cochlear cells. The data are consistent with the requirement for otogelin in the attachment of the otoconial membranes and cupulae to their corresponding sensory epithelia as revealed in Otog -/- mice.