Harmonin Mutations Cause Mechanotransduction
Defects in Cochlear Hair Cells
Nicolas Grillet,1,5Wei Xiong,1,5Anna Reynolds,1,5Piotr Kazmierczak,1Takashi Sato,2Concepcion Lillo,3
Rachel A. Dumont,4Edith Hintermann,1Anna Sczaniecka,1Martin Schwander,1David Williams,3Bechara Kachar,2
Peter G. Gillespie,4and Ulrich Mu ¨ller1,*
1Department of Cell Biology, Institute for Childhood and Neglected Disease, The Scripps Research Institute,
10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
2Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics, National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders, National Institute of Health,
Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3Jules Stein Eye Institute, Departments of Ophthalmology and Neurobiology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
4Oregon Hearing Research Center and Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
5These authors have contributed equally to the work
In hair cells, mechanotransduction channels are
gated by tip links, the extracellular filaments that
consist of cadherin 23 (CDH23) and protocadherin
15 (PCDH15) and connect the stereocilia of each
hair cell. However, which molecules mediate cad-
herin function at tip links is not known. Here we
show that the PDZ-domain protein harmonin is a
component of the upper tip-link density (UTLD),
where CDH23 inserts into the stereociliary mem-
brane. Harmonin domains that mediate interactions
in stereocilia and are necessary for normal hearing.
In mice expressing a mutant harmonin protein that
prevents UTLD formation, the sensitivity of hair bun-
dles to mechanical stimulation is reduced. We con-
clude that harmonin is a UTLD component and
contributes to establishing the sensitivity of mecha-
notransduction channels to displacement.
Hair cells of the inner ear are the specialized mechanosensory
cells that convert mechanical stimuli arising from sound waves
and head movement into electrical signals to provide our senses
of hearing and balance. Each hair cell contains at its apical
surface F-actin-rich stereocilia, which are organized in rows of
increasing heights. Mechanotransduction channels are localized
close to the tips of the stereocilia (Mu ¨ller, 2008; Vollrath et al.,
2007) and are thought to be gated by an elastic element, the
gating spring, which is stretched by excitatory stimuli mediating
rapid channel opening (Corey and Hudspeth, 1983). Tip links,
which project from the top of a stereocilium and connect to its
taller neighbor, parallel to the axis of mechanical sensitivity of
the stereociliary bundle, have been proposed to be the gating
spring or be connected to it in series (Pickles et al., 1984). In
support of this hypothesis, when tip links are severed, mechano-
transduction ceases and the hair bundle moves by more than
100 nm (Assad et al., 1991).
Recent studies have demonstrated that tip links are adhesion
complexes formed by protocadherin 15 (PCDH15) and cadherin
23 (CDH23), which are members of the cadherin superfamily.
Mutations in the genes encoding PCDH15 and CDH23 lead to
Usher Syndrome, the leading cause of deaf-blindness in
humans, and to recessive forms of deafness (Ahmed et al.,
2001, 2002; Alagramam et al., 2001b; Bolz et al., 2001; Bork
et al., 2001; Di Palma et al., 2001). PCDH15 and CDH23 are
expressed in developing hair bundles, where they are compo-
nents of transient lateral links and kinociliary links that are
required for hair bundle morphogenesis (Alagramam et al.,
2001a; Di Palma et al., 2001; Kazmierczak et al., 2007; Lagziel
et al., 2005; Michel et al., 2005; Rzadzinska et al., 2005; Senften
et al.,2006; Siemens etal., 2004; Wada etal., 2001; Wilson et al.,
2001). In functionally mature hair cells, PCDH15 and CDH23
interact to form tip links, where each tip link is an asymmetric
protein complex containing PCDH15 at the lower part and
CDH23 at the upper part (Figure 1A) (Kazmierczak et al., 2007).
The two ends of each tip link are anchored at the stereociliary
membrane in electron-dense plaques, the upper tip-link density
(UTLD) and lower tip-link density (LTLD) (Figure 1A) (Furness
and Hackney, 1985). Tip-link densities are appropriately local-
ized to contain additional components of the mechanotransduc-
tion machinery including the transduction channel and mole-
cules that link the channel to the cytoskeleton.
So far, few proteins have been localized to LTLDs (Belyant-
seva et al., 2005; Delprat et al., 2005), and we do not know the
molecular composition of UTLDs. Candidate components of
tip-link densities are proteins that interact with the cytoplasmic
domains of CDH23 and PCDH15, including the molecular scaf-
folding protein harmonin. Mutations in harmonin are also linked
to Usher Syndrome and recessive forms of deafness in humans,
mirroring the disease phenotypes caused by mutations in
PCDH15 and CDH23 (Ahmed et al., 2002; Ouyang et al., 2002;
Verpy et al., 2000). Harmonin is expressed as several splice vari-
ants, which have been termed harmonin-a, -b, and -c (Figure 1B)
(Verpy et al., 2000). The longest harmonin-b variant, which
contains three PDZ domains, two coiled-coil, domains and a
Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc. 375
domain rich in proline, serine, and threonine (PST domain), is ex-
pressed in hair bundles of developing cochlear hair cells
(Figure 1B) (Boeda et al., 2002; Verpy et al., 2000). Harmonin-b
binds in vitro to CDH23, PCDH15, F-actin, and harmonin itself
(Adato et al., 2005; Boeda et al., 2002; Kazmierczak et al., 2007;
Reiners et al., 2006; Siemens et al., 2002). Harmonin-deficient
mice have defects in hair bundle morphogenesis similar to those
of mice with mutations in the CDH23 and PCDH15 genes (John-
son et al., 2003; Lefevre et al., 2008). Collectively, these findings
suggest that harmonin is required for cadherin function in hair
cell development. A recent publication mentions that harmonin
is expressed in hair cells of adult mice (Lefevre et al., 2008), sug-
Figure 1. Harmonin Is Localized at UTLDs
(A) Diagram of stereociliary tips showing tip links (consisting of
PCDH15 and CDH23) terminating in UTLDs and LTLDs.
(B) Diagram showing the three major harmonin isoforms. The PDZ,
coiled-coil (CC), proline-serine-threonine-rich (PST) domains, and
binding site for PDZ domains (PBI) are indicated. The H3 antibody
was generated against a fragment of harmonin encompassing the
(C) Immunofluorescence analysis revealed harmonin expression (red)
in the stereocilia of P2 cochlear hair cells.
nin (red) and F-actin (green), showing harmonin localization below
(E and F) Immunogold localization with cochlear hair cells at P5
confirmed harmonin localization below stereociliary tips (20 nm gold
(G–J) Immunogold localization studies of cochlear hair cells at P35 re-
vealed harmonin localization at UTLDs (arrows) (6 nm gold beads). (I)
shows an IHC; the other panels, OHCs. (G0–J0) Higher-magnification
views of the UTLDs shown in (G)–(J).
(K) Distribution of gold particles at P35 as determined in 16 pairs of
(L) Quantification of gold particles. STE, stereocilia.
Scale bars: (C) and (D), 5 mm; (E–J), 200 nm; (G0–J0), 25 nm.
gesting that harmonin may have additional functions in
hair cells that go beyond its developmental role.
To test whether harmonin might have a role in mecha-
notransduction, we have determined its subcellular local-
ization in functionally mature hair cells and have charac-
terized mechanotransduction currents in a mouse line
carrying a mutation in the harmonin gene. We show here
that harmonin is concentrated at UTLDs where CDH23
molecules insert into the stereociliary membrane. Harmo-
nin localization is perturbed in mice carrying a missense
mutation in the PDZ2 domain of harmonin, which disrupts
interactions with CDH23, as well as in mice expressing
a harmonin protein lacking the coiled-coil and PST
domains, which are required for binding to F-actin. While
the missense mutation in PDZ2 affects hair bundle devel-
opment, deletion of the coiled-coil and PST domains
leaves hair bundle development intact and instead
prevents the formation of UTLDs, but not formation of
the tip links. However, the function of the mechanotrans-
duction machinery in hair bundles of cochlear hair cells is
significantly altered in mice expressing the harmonin
protein lacking the coiled-coil and PST domains. Interest-
ingly, the properties of transducer currents in the mutant mice
share similarities with those in immature cochlear hair cells (Wa-
guespack et al., 2007), suggesting that harmonin is required for
the developmental maturation of a hair cell’s mechanotransduc-
Harmonin Is Localized at the UTLDs of Functionally
Mature Hair Cells
we raised an antibody (H3) against the PDZ3 domain of
Harmonin and Hair Cells
376 Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc.
harmonin, which is present in harmonin-a and -b splice variants,
but not in harmonin-c (Figure 1B). Affinity-purified H3 antibody
recognized harmonin expressed in tissue culture cells (Figures
S1A–S1C available online). In agreement with earlier studies
using similar antibodies (Boeda et al., 2002; Lefevre et al.,
2008), H3 detected harmonin in stereocilia of developing hair
cells (Figure 1C), with fluorescence signals visible as single
puncta below the tip of each stereocilium (Figures 1D, 2E, and
S1D). This finding was confirmed by immunoelectron micros-
copy; gold particles were detected below the tips of stereocilia
close to the region where UTLDs are localized (Figures 1E and
1F). To further confirm the specificity of our antibody, we stained
cating the harmonin protein prior to the PDZ3 domain (Johnson
et al., 2003). As expected, H3 did not stain dfcr2J stereocilia
To determine whether harmonin is a genuine component of
UTLDs and present in functionally mature hair cells, we analyzed
its localization by immunogold labeling in outer hair cells (OHCs)
of P35 animals. Harmonin was prominently localized at UTLDs,
but only sparsely at LTLDs (Figures 1G–1J and 1G0–1J0). We
quantified the distribution of gold particles in 16 stereocilia pairs
where the plane of sectioning revealed tip-link densities. Most
(69%) gold particles were localized at UTLDs; the other particles
were distributed over the much larger remaining surface area of
the stereocilia. Few gold particles were detected at LTLDs
(Figures 1K and 1L). We conclude that harmonin is expressed
in functionally mature hair cells where it is concentrated at
A Missense Mutation in PDZ2 Affects Harmonin
Localization in Hair Cells as well as Hair Bundle
The presence of harmonin at UTLDs is reminiscent of the asym-
metric distribution of CDH23, which is localized at the upper end
of tip links (Figure 1A) (Kazmierczak et al., 2007). To determine
whether the PDZ2 domain of harmonin, which binds in vitro to
CDH23 (Boeda et al., 2002; Siemens et al., 2002), is required
for harmonin localization in hair cells, we generated mice ex-
pressing harmonin incapable of binding to CDH23. Because
(GLG) motif, which in other PDZ domains is critical for mediating
interactions with target proteins (Sheng and Sala, 2001), we
reasoned that mutation of this motif would disrupt harmonin-
CDH23 interactions. We therefore engineered a eukaryotic
expression vector containing harmonin PDZ2, substituting the
GLG motif withan alanine-alanine-alanine
(Figure 2A). We next coexpressed in HEK cells wild-type and
mutant PDZ2 domains, along with a protein containing the cyto-
plasmic domain of CDH23 fused to the transmembrane and
extracellular domains of the IL2 receptor (IL2-CDH23). Protein
complexes were isolated by immunoprecipitation with IL2 anti-
bodies and analyzed by western blot. While wild-type PDZ2
bound IL2-CDH23, the PDZ2 AAA mutation effectively disrupted
this interaction (Figure 2B). We conclude that the GLG motif is
critical for binding of harmonin PDZ2 to CDH23.
Next, we generated by a knockin strategy a genetically modi-
fied mouse line expressing a harmonin allele carrying the AAA
mutation in PDZ2, harmonin-PDZ2AAA(Figures 2A and S2).
Homozygous harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice were viable but dis-
played from P10 onward head tossing and circling behavior
indicative of vestibular dysfunction (data not shown). Measure-
ments of the auditory brain stem response (ABR) in 4-week-old
animals revealed that the mice were profoundly deaf (Figures
2C and 2D); wild-type mice had auditory thresholds of ?30 dB,
while thresholds in the mutants were >90 dB. In addition, hair
bundle development was disrupted in harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAA
mice (Figure 2E). Harmonin was no longer concentrated below
the tips of stereocilia and was instead diffusely distributed in
hair bundles (Figure 2E), demonstrating that the PDZ2 mutation
affects harmonin targeting to emerging UTLDs. The striking
colocalization of harmonin and CDH23 at the upper part of tip
links in wild-type mice, as well as similar defects in hair bundle
morphogenesis in harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice and Cdh23-
deficient waltzer mice (Di Palma et al., 2001), suggests that har-
monin and CDH23 act in hair cells in a common pathway.
However, PCDH15 also interacts with the PDZ2 domain of har-
monin (Adato et al., 2005; Reiners et al., 2006; Senften et al.,
2006), and defects in this interaction might contribute to
Deletion of the Coiled-Coil and PST Domains Affects
Harmonin Localization in Hair Cells, but Not Hair Bundle
As the mechanotransduction machinery of hair cells is thought
to be linked to the F-actin cytoskeleton, we wondered whether
the F-actin binding domain of harmonin might link CDH23 at
UTLDs to the cytoskeleton. To test this hypothesis, we exam-
ined homozygous deaf circler (dfcr) mice (Johnson et al.,
2003); these mice carry an in-frame deletion in the harmonin
gene that removes the coiled-coil and PST domains, which
mediate in vitro interactions with F-actin (Figure 3A) (Boeda
et al., 2002). To confirm that the dfcr mutation disrupts interac-
tions with F-actin, we expressed in HeLa cells N-terminal GFP
fusions of wild-type harmonin-b or the harmonin-dfcr variant. In
transfected cells, wild-type harmonin-b associates with and
bundles F-actin (Boeda et al., 2002). Similarly, GFP-tagged har-
monin-b proteins also generated F-actin bundles in transfected
HeLa cells (Figure 3B). These bundles were thicker and more
pronounced than in untransfected cells (Figure 3B, compare
upper and middle panels), indicating that GFP-harmonin-
b effectively bound to and bundled F-actin. In contrast, GFP-
harmonin-dfcr remained diffuse within the cytoplasm and did
not bundle F-actin (Figure 3B, upper panels). We also gener-
ated a GFP fusion protein of harmonin-b lacking the PDZ2
domain, which was mutated in harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice
(Figure 3A). The PDZ2 mutant construct efficiently bound to
and bundled F-actin, indicating that PDZ2 is not required for
interactions of harmonin-b with F-actin (Figure 3B, lower
We next analyzed hair bundle morphology in dfcr mice. While
a previous study revealed defects in the morphology of hair
bundles in dfcr mice (Johnson et al., 2003), we rarely observed
such defects at any position along the cochlear duct in our
Harmonin and Hair Cells
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were evident at subsequent ages and also affected spiral
ganglion neurons (data not shown). Unlike the previous study,
that a genetic modifier locus is responsible for the phenotypic
difference. Despite the absence of hair bundle defects, ABR
recordings demonstrated that homozygous dfcr mice were
deaf by 4 weeks of age, with auditory thresholds >90 dB (Figures
3D and 3E).
Figure 2. Harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAMice Are Deaf and Show Defects in Hair Bundle Morphology
(A) Diagram of harmonin-b protein indicating the mutations in harmonin-PDZ2AAA. A critical GLG motif in PDZ2 was changed to AAA.
(B) HEK cells were transfected to express IL2-CDH23 and the PDZ2 domain of harmonin (with or without the AAA mutation). (Upper panel) Extracts were used for
immunoprecipitation (IP) experiments with antibodies specific to IL2. Proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE and visualized by western blotting with an antibody
to the PDZ2 domain of harmonin. Note that only the wild-type PDZ2 domain coimmunoprecipitated with IL2-CDH23. (Middle and lower panels) As a loading
control, proteins wereseparated by SDS-PAGE without immunoprecipitation,and visualizedby western blotting withantibodiestothe PDZ2domain of harmonin
or to IL2.
(C) Representative ABR traces to click stimuli for wild-type (wt) and harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAA(PDZAAA/AAA) mice at 4 weeks of age.
(D) ABR thresholds in 4-week-old mice (wild-type +/+ n = 4; homozygous mutants ?/? n = 6; mean ± SEM, **p < 0.01, Student’s t test).
(E) Cochlear whole mounts at P5 were stained to reveal F-actin (green) and harmonin (red). Hair bundle morphology was disrupted in harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAA
mice. Harmonin was widely distributed in stereocilia of harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice. Scale bars: (E) 5 mm.
Harmonin and Hair Cells
378 Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc.
Figure 3. dfcr Mice Are Deaf but Show No Defects in Hair Bundle Morphology
(A) Diagram of the truncated harmonin protein that is expressed in dfcr mice (top), harmonin-b (middle), and DPDZ-harmonin-b (DPDZ), which was engineered to
lack PDZ2 (bottom).
(B) The three harmonin variants shown in (A) were fused to EGFP and expressed by transfection in HeLa cells. Harmonin variants were visualized by EGFP fluo-
rescence, and the F-actin cytoskeleton was labeled with rhodamine-phalloidine. GFP-dfcr was diffusely expressed in cells, while GFP-harmonin-b and GFP-
harmonin-b DPDZ were associated with F-actin filaments. Note that F-actin filaments in untransfected cells (asterisks in the upper right panel) and in cells
expressing GFP-dfcr formed far fewer and thinner F-actin bundles when compared to cells expressing GFP-harmonin-b or GFP-harmonin-b DPDZ.
(C) Cochlear whole mounts of dfcr mice at P5 were stained to reveal F-actin (green) and harmonin (red). Hair bundle morphology was maintained in dfcr mice, but
harmonin was mislocalized to the very tips of stereocilia.
(D) Representative ABR traces to click stimuli for wild-type (wt) and dfcr mice at 4 weeks of age.
(E) ABR thresholds in 4-week-old mice (wild-type +/+ n = 5; homozygous mutants ?/? n = 6; mean ± SEM, **p < 0.01, Student’s t test).
Scale bars: (B), 20 mm; (C), 5 mm.
Harmonin and Hair Cells
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Importantly, harmonin immunoreactivity in inner hair cells
(IHCs) and OHCs of homozygous dfcr mice was shifted to the
very tips of stereocilia (Figures3Cand S4). However, the expres-
sion of other hair cell proteins such as myosin-1c (MYO1C)
appeared unaffected (Figure S4). Taken together, these findings
suggest that the coiled-coil and PST domains of harmonin are
required for harmonin localization to UTLDs and for normal
hearing, but not for hair bundle development. While deletion of
the coiled-coil and PST domains affects F-actin binding, F-actin
is distributed too broadly in stereocilia to account alone for the
localization of the harmonin at UTLDs, suggesting that the dfcr
mutation might also affect interactions with other yet to be
UTLDs Are Absent in Homozygous dfcr Mice
Since the coiled-coil and PST domains of harmonin-b are not
essential for hair bundle development, we wondered whether
they might have essential functions at UTLDs. Using transmis-
sion electron microscopy, we examined UTLDs in homozygous
dfcr mice at P10, when UTLDs can first be easily detected,
and atP18and P70,whenUTLDs haveassumedtheir character-
istic cup-shaped appearance (Figure S5). At P10, stereociliary
tips in wild-type and homozygous dfcr mice showed the typical
beveling of the actin core thought to arise from tension exerted
by tip links (Figures 4A–4D) (Manor and Kachar, 2008). Tip links
were difficult to visualize with our staining conditions but were
occasionally observed, even in homozygous dfcr mice, suggest-
ing that their formation was not altered by the harmonin mutation
(Figures 4A–4D). This interpretation was furthersupported bythe
analysis of hair cells using scanning electron microscopy, which
revealed appropriately positioned extracellular filaments running
from the tip of the shorter stereocilium to the side of its
next longer neighbor (Figures 4O–4R), and by our electrophysio-
logical evidence, which demonstrated that mechanotransduc-
tion currents could still be evoked in hair cells from dfcr mice
We next evaluated the presence of tip-link densities in serial
sections through more than 90 hair bundles from cochlear hair
cells of homozygous dfcr mice and wild-type littermates
that were processed in parallel. LTLDs were consistently
observed in both wild-type and mutant animals; by contrast,
UTLDs were only detectable at P10 and P18 in wild-type
mice, but not in mutants (Figures 4A–4L). Similar observations
were made at P70 (Figures 4M and 4N). We conclude that
harmonin is a component of UTLDs, and that the mutation in
the coiled-coil and PST domains of harmonin affects the forma-
tion or stability of UTLDs. Nevertheless, tip links were still
present in dfcr mice, indicating that tip links form independently
Defects in Mechanotransduction in dfcr Mice
Harmonin mutations might affect the properties of the mecha-
notransduction machinery of cochlear hair cells. Because hair
bundle morphology was not noticeably affected in dfcr mice,
their hair cells were ideally suited to test this hypothesis. We
measured transducer currents in P7–P8 OHCs from the
apical-to-middle part of the cochlea using whole-cell record-
ings, and stimulating with a stiff glass probe. In agreement
with previous findings (Kennedy et al., 2003; Kros et al.,
2002; Stauffer et al., 2005; Waguespack et al., 2007), control
OHCs had rapidly activating transducer currents, which subse-
quently adapted (Figure 5A, blue traces); similar current traces
were obtained with OHCs from dfcr mice (Figure 5A, red
traces). The amplitudes of saturated mechanotransduction
currents at maximal deflection (>1 mm) were similar in controls
(510 ± 27 pA; mean ± SEM; n = 34) and mutants (463 ± 24 pA;
mean ± SEM; n = 32) (Figure 5B), suggesting that the total
number of transducer channels was not significantly altered
in dfcr OHCs. To normalize for variations due to cell-to-cell
differences in amplitude, we plotted the open probability of
the transduction channel (Po) against displacement, and
Figure 4. Hair Bundles in the Cochlea of dfcr Mice Lack UTLDs but
Contain Tip Links
(A–D) Sections through stereocilia of OHCs at P10. The tenting of stereociliary
tips was detectable in wild-type littermates (A and B) and mutant mice (C and
taller stereocilium were just visible. Arrowheads mark UTLDs.
(E–H) Higher-magnification views of UTLDs in wild-type mice showing the
characteristic cup shape and indentation at the membrane.
(I–L) UTLDs were not observed in dfcr mice.
(M and N) Stereocilia at P70. The UTLD was clearly visible in wild-type litter-
mates, but absent in homozygous dfcr mice.
(O–R)Scanning electronmicrographs ofcochlearhair cellsatP12.Tip linksare
indicated by arrowheads.
Scale bars: (A–D), (M), and (N), 100 nm; (E–L), 50 nm.
Harmonin and Hair Cells
380 Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc.
observed that the resulting curve from mutants was signifi-
cantly shifted to the right and broadened when compared to
the wild-type curve (Figure 5C). The resting potential was
comparable in OHCs from wild-type and mutant animals
(approximately ?50 mV), suggesting that the change in the
displacement-Po relationship was not a simple consequence
of hair cell deterioration.
Adaptation of transducer currents in hair cells progresses with
fast and slow time constants (Gillespie and Cyr, 2004; Kennedy
et al., 2003; Waguespack et al., 2007). As a result of adaptation,
Po resets toward its resting value, which is near the point of
optimal sensitivity along the displacement-Po relationship. We
ment-Po relationship in dfcr mice might result from altered prop-
erties of adaptation. We therefore directly determined effects of
the mutation on resting Po and adaptation time constants. In
wild-type mice, resting Po was 3.4% ± 0.6% (n = 10), but it
was significantly reduced in the mutants to 1.3% ± 0.3% (n = 14)
(Figure 5D). To determine whether adaptation was affected, we
averaged transducer current traces from each cell in control
and mutant animals; we fitted the traces with double exponential
functions and determined fast and slow adaptation time
constants. Representative current traces for deflection of
200 nm and 400 nm are shown in Figure 6A. To normalize for
the difference in the set point of the displacement-Po relation-
ship, we also compared the data based on Po (Figure 6B).
When we plotted adaptation time constants against Po, we
observed that both fast and slow adaptation were significantly
slowed in the mutants. The mean tfastin hair cells from wild-
type mice ranged from 0.27 ± 0.04 to 0.33 ± 0.04 ms, depending
on the size of the stimulus. By contrast, tfastwas nearly doubled
SEM) (Figure 6C). tslowin wild-type was between 1.4 ± 0.4 and
2.6 ± 0.5 ms, and in mutants between 2.6 ± 0.3 and 3.5 ± 0.6
(mean ± SEM) (Figure 6C).
The plots in Figure 6B also indicated that activation of trans-
ducer currents at similar Po was significantly slowed in dfcr
mice. Transduction currents develop with a sigmoidal onset
that can be fitted with two time constants; the fast process
may be limited by speed of the stimulation and recording
et al., 2005). With our system, we could accurately determine the
slowphase of channel activation byfitting the range from40%to
the peak of the rise phase with a single exponential function.
When plotted against Po, dfcr activation time constants were
increased (Figure 6D). We conclude that in OHCs from dfcr
mice, resting Po is reduced, and both the kinetics of channel
activation and adaptation are slowed.
Figure 5. Analysis of Mechanotransduction Currents in OHCs from dfcr Mice
In all panels, data from hair cells of wild-type mice are represented in blue, and from homozygous dfcr mice, in red.
(A) Examples of transduction currents in OHCs at P7–P8 in response to 5 ms mechanical stimulation.
(B) Current-displacement [I(X)] relationships were plotted and fitted with a second-order Boltzmann function. Peak currents at maximal deflection in OHCs from
wild-types and mutants were similar.
(C) The Po-displacement relationship plot obtained with peak currents following deflection reveals a significant rightward shift and broadening of the curve in
(D) The resting Po was significantlyreduced in the mutants. All data are shown as mean ± SEM.Student’s two-tailed unpaired t test was used todetermine statis-
tical significance (*p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001).
Harmonin and Hair Cells
Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc. 381
We show here that harmonin, which has previously been linked
to inherited forms of deafness in humans, is a component of
UTLDs and is required for normal mechanotransduction by
cochlear hair cells. Immunogold localization studies show that
in hair cells of adult mice, harmonin is concentrated at UTLDs
in close proximity to the tip-link protein CDH23. Harmonin local-
which disrupts binding to CDH23, and by deletion of the coiled-
coil and PST domains, which are required for interactions with
F-actin. Although these findings suggest that harmonin interacts
proteins to tip links. Hair cells that express a harmonin protein
lacking the coiled-coil and PST domains lack UTLDs, indicating
that harmonin is essential for UTLD formation. In mice express-
ing a mutant harmonin protein lacking the coiled-coil and PST
domains, tip links are still present and mechanotransduction
currents of normal amplitude can be evoked, demonstrating
machinery traffic into stereocilia. However, the properties of
mechanotransduction currents of cochlear hair cells are signifi-
cantly altered in the mutant mice, indicating that harmonin is
required for normal mechanotransduction by cochlear hair cells.
Interestingly, the mechanotransduction machinery of cochlear
hair cells undergoes a stepwise morphological and functional
maturation, where sensitivity to mechanical stimuli develops
before adaptation (Waguespack et al., 2007). The properties of
transducer currents in dfcr mice, including reduced Po and
slowed adaptation, share similarities with those in immature
cochlear hair cells, suggesting that harmonin is required for the
maturation of a hair cell’s mechanotransduction machinery to
achieve optimal sensitivity of the hair bundle to displacement.
Previous studies have shown that harmonin is expressed in
genesis (Johnson et al., 2003; Lefevre et al., 2008). Harmonin
binds PCDH15 and CDH23, both of which are also required for
hair bundle morphogenesis, suggesting that harmonin is
required for cadherin function during development (Adato
et al., 2005; Alagramam et al., 2001a; Boeda et al., 2002;
Di Palma et al., 2001; Lefevre et al., 2008; Reiners et al., 2006;
Senften et al., 2006; Siemens et al., 2002; Wada et al., 2001; Wil-
son et al., 2001). In support of this model, hair bundle develop-
ment was defective in harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice, which carry
a harmonin PDZ2 domain mutation that disrupts interactions
with CDH23. While this mutation should also affect interactions
between harmonin and PCDH15, we believe that interactions
with CDH23 are the most critical. First, CDH23 and harmonin
both change distribution strikingly during hair bundle develop-
ment. Initially, both proteins are expressed broadly in stereocilia,
Figure 6. Analysis of Adaptation in OHCs from dfcr Mice
In all panels, data from hair cells of wild-type mice are represented in blue, and from homozygous dfcr mice, in red.
(A) Average transduction currents in OHCs in response to a 200 nm and 400 nm deflection.
(B) Averaged current traces in OHCs compared at Po of 0.2 and 0.4.
(C) tfastand tslowwere plotted against Po. tfastand tslowwere significantly reduced in OHCs from dfcr mice.
(D) The plot of activation time constants against Po revealed that channel activation was slowed in dfcr mice. All data are shown as mean ± SEM. Student’s two-
tailed unpaired t test was used to determine statistical significance (*p < 0.05).
Harmonin and Hair Cells
382 Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc.
but they subsequently coalesce to a small region below the tips
of stereocilia as bundles mature (Boeda et al., 2002; Kazmierc-
zak et al., 2007; Lagziel et al., 2005; Lefevre et al., 2008; Michel
et al., 2005; Rzadzinska et al., 2005; Siemens et al., 2002, 2004).
Second, while the CD1 splice variant of PCDH15 can bind to
harmonin, the interaction is of low affinity (Senften et al., 2006),
and PCDH15-CD1 and harmonin localize to different regions in
hair cells (Ahmed et al., 2006; Senften et al., 2006).
Unexpectedly, the coiled-coil and PST domains of harmonin,
which can bundle F-actin in vitro (Boeda et al., 2002), are not
essential for hair bundle morphogenesis. As dfcr mice were
reported to have defects in hair bundle morphology (Johnson
et al., 2003), we were surprised that bundle structure was unaf-
a genetic modifier locus. A genetic modifier might differentially
affect the expression of the mutated harmonin gene. For
example, an effective mRNA surveillance machinery might elim-
inate the mutated harmonin mRNA in dfcr mice on certain mixed
genetic backgrounds, leading to a null allele. On other genetic
backgrounds such as C57Bl/6, mRNA surveillance might be
less efficient and lead to the expression of a truncated harmonin
protein with partial function. While previous studies were carried
out on a mixed genetic background (Johnson et al., 2003), we
maintain our dfcr colony on an inbred C57Bl/6 background.
We also demonstrate that harmonin isassociated with tip links
of functionally mature hair cells. Harmonin localizes to the UTLD,
where CDH23 inserts into the stereociliary membrane. Although
other proteins may control harmonin localization at tip links, we
suggest that CDH23 has a critical role. Consistent with this
interpretation, harmonin localization was disrupted not only in
harmonin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice (this study), but also in CDH23-
deficient waltzer mice (Lefevre et al., 2008). Another protein
that might affect harmonin localization in mature hair cells is
PCDH15-CD1, which binds in vitro to harmonin (Adato et al.,
2005; Boeda et al., 2002; Reiners et al., 2006; Siemens et al.,
2002). However, PCDH15-CD1 and harmonin appear to show
a distinct distribution in functionally mature hair cells (Ahmed
et al., 2006; Senften et al., 2006), although further studies are
necessary to clarify this point.
Normal harmonin localization was affected not only in harmo-
nin-PDZ2AAA/AAAmice but also in dfcr mice, suggesting that the
coiled-coil and/or PST domains of harmonin are also important
for protein targeting. This result was not necessarily anticipated
because PDZ2 of harmonin in dfcr mice is still expected to bind
to CDH23. Furthermore, while the deletion of the coiled-coil and
PST domains affects interactions of harmonin with F-actin,
F-actin is distributed too broadly in stereocilia to determine har-
monin localization alone. Interactions of harmonin with yet to be
identified proteins are likely involved in protein targeting as well.
It is also noteworthy that harmonin molecules can oligomerize;
the extreme C terminus of harmonin binds to harmonin-PDZ1,
andthesecond coiled-coil domainbinds PDZ1andPDZ2(Adato
et al., 2005; Siemens et al., 2002). Because the second coiled-
coil domain of harmonin is disrupted by the dfcr mutation,
homophilic interactions might have been affected, leading to
disruption of a cluster of harmonin molecules at UTLDs and their
transport to the tips of stereocilia. Single harmonin molecules,
which might still be bound to each CDH23 molecule at tip links
in dfcr mice, likely would have escaped detection. Regardless
of the mechanism, UTLDs are disrupted in dfcr mice. Interest-
ingly, while UTLDs are absent in dfcr mice, our histological and
electrophysiological data suggest that tip links still form, demon-
strating that UTLDs are not essential for the formation of these
The localization of harmonin at UTLDs prompted us to deter-
mine whether the gating properties of mechanotransduction
channels were altered in dfcr mice. The amplitudes of saturated
transducer currents were unaffected, indicating that the total
number of transduction channels was not reduced by the muta-
tion.However,thedisplacement-Po relationshipplot wasshifted
to the right and broadened, indicating that the mechanotrans-
duction machinery was functionally altered. According to pre-
vailing models of mechanotransduction, excitatory hair bundle
deflections increase tension in the gating spring, connected to
the transducer channel, leading to rapid channel opening (Corey
and Hudspeth, 1983). Tip links have been proposed to be the
gating spring or be in series with it (Pickles et al., 1984). Subse-
quent to channel opening, channels reclose with slow and fast
time constants. Fast adaptation depends on Ca2+, which enters
through the channel and binds to a site on or near the channel.
Slow adaptation has been most thoroughly studied in vestibular
hair cells, where it depends on the motor protein MYO1C, which
is thought to control the position of the transduction complex
along the length of the stereocilium. As a result of adaptation,
of optimal sensitivity along the displacement-Po relationship
(Fettiplace and Ricci, 2003; Gillespie and Cyr, 2004; LeMasurier
and Gillespie, 2005).
In light of current models of mechanotransduction, the
changes in the properties of mechanotransduction currents in
dfcr mice can be explained plausibly by an effect of harmonin
on MYO1C function (Figure 7). In this model, harmonin directly
or indirectly regulates MYO1C motor function by increasing the
number of active motor proteins within the motor complex of
each transduction unit, increasing net force production, and by
reducing variability in force production by the motor complex.
Alternatively, interactions of harmonin with CDH23 and F-actin
might optimally align the motor complex relative to the tip link.
As a consequence of the harmonin mutation in dfcr mice, trans-
duction complexes in different stereocilia of a hair cell produce
less force; moreover, the complexes in different stereocilia of
a hair cell would be less well coordinated and therefore at
a variety of resting positions. In this interpretation, reduced force
variability in the response of individual transduction complexes
to displacement leads to the broadening of the displacement-
tion and fast adaptation in OHCs from dfcr mice. Previous
studies have shown that the kinetics of channel activation is
best described by a three-state model, in which each channel
to an open state (Corey and Hudspeth, 1983). In hair cells from
dfcr mice, average resting tension is reduced, indicating that
more channels are in the first closed state. Upon displacement
Harmonin and Hair Cells
Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc. 383
fraction of channels must pass through the second closed state
before opening. In addition, as a consequence of slowed activa-
tion kinetics, fast adaptation in each transduction complex is
initiated at different time points, leading to overall slowing of
this form of adaptation.
The observation that slow adaptation is also slowed in OHCs
from dfcr mice suggests that harmonin function in hair cells is
more complex than our simple model proposes. According to
current models of adaptation, a reduced number of active
MYO1C motor proteins in dfcr OHCs would have led to faster
slipping of the motor complex along the cytoskeleton in
response to elevated tension, and therefore to an increased
rate of slow adaptation. Perhaps harmonin not only controls
motor activity, but also accelerates motor detachment from the
cytoskeleton, facilitating slipping of the motor complex under
Itshould alsobenotedthatcurrent modelsofMYO1Cfunction
in adaptation are largely based on the study of vestibular hair
cells. In agreement with earlier findings (Waguespack et al.,
2007), we observed that slow and fast adaptations in rodent
cochlear hair cells are an order of magnitude faster than they
are in vestibular hair cells and may well depend on different
molecules and mechanisms. An interesting candidate that might
be required for harmonin function in hair cells is MYO7A. Harmo-
nin binds to MYO7A (Boeda et al., 2002), and mutations in the
Myo7a gene affect resting tension in cochlear hair cells (Kros
et al., 2002). MYO7A might substitute for MYO1C in auditory
hair cells,generating substantially different properties ofadapta-
tion in these cells. Finally, harmonin is appropriately localized to
regulate interaction of the plasma membrane with the underlying
cytoskeleton. UTLDs of wild-type mice are cup-shaped with
a central indentation facing the plasma membrane (Furness
and Hackney, 1985). Neither the UTLDs nor the indentation are
present in dfcr mice, indicating that membrane curvature at the
upper insertion site of tip links is affected by harmonin. Such
curvature could significantly change the spatial arrangement of
CDH23 and cytoplasmic proteins (e.g., MYO1C) at the upper
insertion site of the tip link, their interaction with the membrane,
and how they respond to changes in tension.
In summary, we provide here new insights into the mecha-
nisms that regulate mechanotransduction by cochlear hair cells.
We demonstrate that harmonin is an integral component of
UTLDs, where it is appropriately positioned to regulate mecha-
notransduction (Figure 7). In dfcr mice, the sensitivity of hair
bundles to displacement is reduced, providing evidence that
harmoninincreases channel activationfor smallstimuli. Our find-
ings also reinforce the concept that the mechanotransduction
machinery of cochlear hair cells is asymmetric, with distinct
functions for the upper and lower ends of tip links. This model
is supported by the asymmetric distribution of CDH23 and
PCDH15 at tip links (Kazmierczak et al., 2007), the localization
of harmonin at UTLDs (this manuscript), and the localization of
transduction channels at LTLDs (Beurg et al., 2009).
Antibodies and Reagents
Anti-harmonin H3 antiserum was raised in rabbits against a GST fusion protein
containing the third PDZ domain (amino acids 367–541) of harmonin (NCBI
accession number AAG12457). Immunizations were carried out at Eurogentec
the maltose binding protein as described (Siemens et al., 2002). Additional
reagents were Alexa Fluor 488-phalloidin, Alexa Fluor 594 goat anti-rabbit,
TOP-RO3 and Alexa Fluor 647-phalloidin (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA), 6 nm
colloidal Gold-Affinipure Goat Anti-Rabbit IgG (H+L) (Jackson Immuno
Research), and 20 nm colloidal Gold Goat Anti-Rabbit IgG (H+L) (Ted Pella).
Transfections, Immunocytochemistry, Western Blot Analysis, and
nin-GFP fusion protein was transfected into HeLa cells using Fugene 6 (Roche
Diagnostics Corporation, Indianapolis, IN). Immunocytochemistry, western
blot analysis, and cochlear whole-mount staining were carried out as
described (Senften et al., 2006).
Immunogold Electron Microscopy
Allexperiments involvinganimals andthemaintenanceofanimalswerecarried
out in accordance with institutional guidelines. Animals were anesthetized and
perfused with 4% PFA, 0.025% glutaraldehyde in Na-cacodylate 0.1 M (pH
7.4), and 0.025% picric acid. The cochlear shell was opened and incubated
in the same fixative for 1 hr. Tissue was washed with Tris-buffered saline
(TBS; 150 mM NaCl and 10 mM Tris-HCl [pH 7.6]), and the cochlear shell,
Reissner’s membrane, and tectorial membrane were removed. Tissue was
blocked for 1 hr at room temperature in TBS containing 4% BSA and 0.02%
Triton X-100, and incubated overnight at 4?C with anti-harmonin H3 antibody
and incubated for 2 days at 4?C with anti-rabbit antibody conjugated with
colloidal gold beads. Tissue was washed in TBS and 0.1 M Na-cacodylate,
and postfixed for 24 hr at 4?C with 2.5% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M Na-cacody-
late. Decalcification of the modiolus was performed by adding 1:3 Vol/Vol
0.5 M EDTA (pH 8.0) to fixative and incubating for 3 hr at 4?C. Tissue was
washed with 0.1 M Na-cacodylate and postfixed for 1.5 hr in 1% OsO4 in
0.1 M Na-cacodylate, washed, dehydrated, and cleared in propylene oxide.
Tissue was impregnated in Epon/Araldite resin, the organ of Corti was further
microdissected, and samples were polymerized at 60?C. Thick sections were
Figure 7. Model of Harmonin Function in Mechanotransduction
The diagram highlights the asymmetric organization of the mechanotransduc-
localized to the upper and lower tip-link part, respectively. MYO1C is posi-
tioned at the UTLD, and the mechanotransduction channel (MC), at the
LTLD. Harmonin is an integral part of the UTLD. According to the model, har-
monin regulates MYO1C motor function but also binds to CDH23, F-actin, and
possibly the plasma membrane. Mislocalization of harmonin in dfcr mice
affects MYO1C motor function and theinteractions of theupperend oftip links
with the membrane and cytoskeleton, affecting the force transmitted onto the
mechanotransduction channel, here indicated by a slight bend in the tip-link
Harmonin and Hair Cells
384 Neuron 62, 375–387, May 14, 2009 ª2009 Elsevier Inc.
initially taken to assess the orientation. Thin sections were cut, poststained
for 30 min with uranyl acetate, and incubated for 20 min in lead citrate. Grids
were examined on a Philips CM100 electron microscope (FEI, Hillsbrough,
OR). Images were documented using Kodak S0163 EM film. Negatives
were scanned at 605 Ipi using a Fuji FineScan 2750xl (Hemel, Hempstead,
Analysis of Tip-Link Densities
Tissues were fixed for 1 hr in 4% PFA, 2.5% glutaraldehyde in Na-cacodylate
0.1 M (pH 7.4), and 0.025% picric acid; microdissected to expose the cochlea;
further fixed for 1 day at 4?C; decalcified; and treated as described above.
Tissue was impregnated in Epon/Araldite resin and baked at 60?C. Ten-nano-
meter sections were poststained for 30 min with uranyl acetate and for 20 min
with lead, and analyzed as described above. Each block was processed by
sets of seven or eight consecutive thin sections spaced by 8 mm trimming.
Generation of harmonin-PDZ2*AAA Mice
The knockin construct is shown in Figure S2. Genomic DNA from 129/Sv mice
was used to amplify by PCR a fragment of USH1C genomic DNA ?6.5 kb long
(Long Template PCR-Roche). The GLG motif (221–223) in the PDZ2 domain
was mutated to AAA, also creating a NotI restriction site in exon 8 (nucleotides
687–694). A pGK-neomycin resistance cassette flanked by recognition sites
for FLP recombinase was inserted into the intron between exon 6 and 7. The
linearized targeting construct was electroporated into SvEv CCE mouse
ESCs, and G418-resistant colonies with the correct targeting event were iden-
tified and injected into C57Bl/6 blastocysts. The resulting chimeras were
mated with C57Bl/6 females. Germline transmission of the mutated allele
was confirmed in the offspring by PCR analysis and NotI restriction digestion.
Chimeric mice were mated with 6JSJL-Tg Flp deleter mice (Jackson Labora-
tory, Bar Harbor, ME) to remove the pGK-neomycin cassette. Primers flanking
the FRT-loxP sites were used for genotyping mutants: sense 50-CCTGA
ACTTGCACTGCTCCT-30; antisense 50-CCAGGTACCCTAGTGACCTATG-30
(264 bp wild-type allele; 332 bp mutant allele). The following primers were
used to amplify a 1170 bp product from P5 cochlea cDNA to confirm the
presence of the mutation in cDNA from the inner ear of mutant mice: sense
50-GGCCCGAGAATTCCGACACA-30; antisense 50-TGCACCTCTGCGGTGAT
Cochlear Preparation and Recordings
P7–P8 mice were sacrificed by decapitation. The first postnatal day is counted
with little modification. Briefly, the inner ear was transferred to a chamber with
dissection solution of (in mM) 141.7 NaCl, 5.36 KCl, 1 MgCl2, 0.5 MgSO4, 0.1
CaCl2, 3.4 L-Glutamine, 10 glucose, and 10 H-HEPES (pH 7.4). The bony
capsule was opened to expose the cochlea, and the stria vascularis and tec-
torial membrane were removed. The cochlear coil was fixed in a recording
chamber with a glass bottom. The recording chamber was perfused with
WPI Peri-Star peristaltic pump (World Precision Instrument, Sarasota, FL)
with artificial perilymph consisting of (in mM) 144 NaCl, 0.7 NaH2PO4,
5.8 KCl, 1.3 CaCl2, 0.9 MgCl2, 5.6 glucose, and 10 H-HEPES (pH 7.4). Cells
were observed with an Olympus BX51WI microscope mounted with a 60X
water-immersion objective and Qimaging ROLERA-RX camera (Qimaging,
Canada) with 2X optic extender (Edmund, Barrington, NJ). OHCs in the apical
and apical-middle turns were recorded at room temperature (19?C–22?C).
Patch pipettes were pulled with Sutter P-97 (Sutter instrument, Novato, CA),
polished with MF-830 microforge (Narishige, East Meadow, NY) with resis-
tances of 1.5–2 MU from borosilicate glass with filament (Sutter instrument,
Novato, CA), and filled with intracellular solution containing (in mM) 140 KCl,
1 MgCl2, 0.1 EGTA, 2 Mg-ATP, 0.3 Na-GTP, and 10 H-HEPES (pH 7.2). Cells
were whole-cell patched for recoding mechanotransduction currents at
?70 mV holding potential with an Axopatch 200B (Molecular Devices, Sunny-
vale, CA) or an EPC 10 USB (HEKA instruments, Bellmore, NY) patch-clamp
amplifier. Transduction currents were digitized R 20KHz with Digidata
1440A AD/DA converter and pClamp 10.0 software (Molecular Devices, Sun-
nyvale, CA), or Patchmaster 2.35 software (HEKA instruments, Bellmore, NY).
Usually, recordings were made in the first row of OHCs. Each preparation was
recorded within 1 hr.
Hair Bundle Stimulation
For mechanical stimulation, hair bundles were deflected with a glass probe
mounted on a piezoelectric stack actuator (model P-885, Physik Instrument,
Karlsruhe, Germany). The tip of the pipette was fire-polished to about 3 mm
diameter to fit the ‘‘V’’ shape of the hair bundle of OHCs (apical-middle coil).
The tip of the probe was cleaned in chromic acid to allow adherence to hair
bundle. The actuator was driven with voltage steps that were low-pass filtered
with an eight-pole Bessel filter (model 900CT, Frequency Devices Ottawa, IL)
at 5 KHz frequency to diminish the resonance of the piezo stack. The output
driving voltage to the piezo stack was monitored by oscilloscope to ensure
that the rise time was less than 100 ms. The deflection of piezo stack was cali-
brated with an Olympus IX70 microscope equipped with a 100X oil-immersion
objective (NA 1.3) and a Hamamatsu Orca ER-II camera (Hamamatsu
Photonics, Bridgewater, NJ) with a resolution of 1344 3 1024 pixels. In brief,
slope. The microscopy system was calibrated with a stage-micrometer and
operated by Metamorph software (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA).
Data analysis was performed using Igor pro 6 software (WaveMetrics,
Lake Oswego, OR) integrated with Neuromatic analysis package. To
calculate the channel open probability (Po), I(X) curves in Figure 5B were
x axis (Stauffer and Holt, 2007). The equation was also used to fit the data in
Figures 5C and 6D. The current adaptation time constants were fitted with the
second-order exponential equation: I = I0+ A1e?t/t1+ A2e?t/t2. Data are shown
as mean ± SEM. Student’s two-tailed unpaired t test was used to determine
statistical significance (*p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001).
Auditory Brainstem Responses
Measurements of the ABRs were performed using a TDT workstation (Tucker
Davis Technologies Inc., U.S.A.) as described (Schwander et al., 2007).
The supplemental data for this article include five supplemental figures
and can be found at http://www.neuron.org/supplemental/S0896-6273(09)
We thank Anthony Ricci for help with electrophysiology and for comments on
the manuscript; C. Ramos, G. Martin, and S. Kupriyanov for assistance in
generating mice;and K.Spencer, M.Wood, and T.Fassel forhelp withmicros-
copy and EM. This work was funded by NIH grants DC005969, DC007704
ical Biology (U.M.); a Jules and Doris Stein RPB professorship (D.W.); a C.J.
Martin fellowship (#148939) NHMRC (Australia) (A.R.); and a fellowship from
the Bruce Ford and Anne Smith Bundy Foundation (A.R. and W.X).
Accepted: April 6, 2009
Published: May 13, 2009
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