Ebenezer N Yamoah

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States

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Publications (71)374.68 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The developmental rehearsal for the debut of hearing is marked by massive changes in the membrane properties of hair cells (HCs) and spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). Whereas the underlying mechanisms for the developing HC transition to mature stage are understood in detail, the maturation of SGNs from hyperexcitable prehearing to quiescent posthearing neurons with broad dynamic range is unknown. Here, we demonstrated using pharmacological approaches, caged-Ca(2+) photolysis, and gramicidin patch recordings that the prehearing SGN uses Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) conductance to depolarize the resting membrane potential and to prime the neurons in a hyperexcitable state. Immunostaining of the cochlea preparation revealed the identity and expression of the Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel transmembrane member 16A (TMEM16A) in SGNs. Moreover, null deletion of TMEM16A reduced the Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) currents and action potential firing in SGNs. To determine whether Cl(-) ions and TMEM16A are involved in the transition between pre- and posthearing features of SGNs we measured the intracellular Cl(-) concentration [Cl(-)]i in SGNs. Surprisingly, [Cl(-)]i in SGNs from prehearing mice was ∼90 mM, which was significantly higher than posthearing neurons, ∼20 mM, demonstrating discernible altered roles of Cl(-) channels in the developing neuron. The switch in [Cl(-)]i stems from delayed expression of the development of intracellular Cl(-) regulating mechanisms. Because the Cl(-) channel is the only active ion-selective conductance with a reversal potential that lies within the dynamic range of SGN action potentials, developmental alteration of [Cl(-)]i, and hence the equilibrium potential for Cl(-) (ECl), transforms pre- to posthearing phenotype.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2015; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cav1.3 L-type Ca2+ channel is known to be highly expressed in neurons and neuroendocrine cells. However, we have previously demonstrated that Cav1.3 channel is also expressed in atria and pacemaking cells in the heart. The significance of the tissue-specific expression of the channel is underpinned by our previous demonstration of atrial fibrillation in a Cav1.3 null mutant mouse model. Indeed, a recent study has confirmed the critical roles of Cav1.3 in human heart. These studies suggest that detailed knowledge of Cav1.3 may have broad therapeutic ramifications in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Here, we tested the hypothesis that there is a functional crosstalk between Cav1.3 channel and a small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel (SK2) which we have documented to be highly expressed in human and mouse atrial myocytes. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that the C terminus of Cav1.3 may translocate to the nucleus where it functions as a transcriptional factor to regulate the membrane expression of SK2 channels. Here, we reported for the first time that the C terminus of Cav1.3 translocates to the nucleus where it functions as a transcriptional regulator to modulate the function of Ca2+-activated K+ channels in atrial myocytes. The nuclear translocation of the C terminal domain of Cav1.3 is directly regulated by intracellular Ca2+. Utilizing a Cav1.3 null mutant mouse model, we demonstrate that ablation of Cav1.3 results in a decrease in the protein expression of myosin light chain 2 which interacts and increases the membrane localization of SK2 channels. Copyright © 2014, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For an excitable cell to function properly, a precise number of ion channel proteins need to be trafficked to distinct locations on the cell surface membrane, through a network and anchoring activity of cytoskeletal proteins. Not surprisingly, mutations in anchoring proteins have profound effects on membrane excitability. Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (KCa2 or SK) have been shown to play critical roles in shaping the cardiac atrial action potential profile. Here, we demonstrate that filamin A, a cytoskeletal protein, augments the trafficking of SK2 channels in cardiac myocytes. The trafficking of SK2 channel is Ca(2+)-dependent. Further, the Ca(2+) dependence relies on another channel-interacting protein, α-actinin2, revealing a tight, yet intriguing, assembly of cytoskeletal proteins that orchestrate membrane expression of SK2 channels in cardiac myocytes. We assert that changes in SK channel trafficking would significantly alter atrial action potential and consequently atrial excitability. Identification of therapeutic targets to manipulate the subcellular localization of SK channels is likely to be clinically efficacious. The findings here may transcend the area of SK2 channel studies and may have implications not only in cardiac myocytes but in other types of excitable cells.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) of the eighth nerve serve as the bridge between hair cells and the cochlear nucleus. Hair cells use Cav1.3 as the primary channel for Ca(2+) inflow to mediate transmitter release. In contrast, SGNs are equipped with multiple Ca(2+) channels to mediate Ca(2+)-dependent functions. We examined directly the role of Cav1.3 channels in SGNs using Cav1.3-deficient mice (Cav1.3(-/-)). We revealed a surprising finding that SGNs functionally express the cardiac-specific Cav1.2, as well as neuronal Cav1.3 channels. We show that evoked action potentials recorded from SGNs show a significant decrease in the frequency of firing in Cav1.3(-/-) mice compared with wild-type (Cav1.3(+/+)) littermates. Although Cav1.3 is the designated L-type channel in neurons, whole-cell currents recorded in isolated SGNs from Cav1.3(-/-) mice showed a surprising remnant current with sensitivity toward the dihydropyridine (DHP) agonist and antagonist, and a depolarization shift in the voltage-dependent activation compared with that in the Cav1.3(+/+) mice. Indeed, direct measurement of the elementary properties of Ca(2+) channels, in Cav1.3(+/+) neurons, confirmed the existence of two DHP-sensitive single-channel currents, with distinct open probabilities and conductances. We demonstrate that the DHP-sensitive current in Cav1.3(-/-) mice is derived from Cav1.2 channel activity, providing for the first time, to our knowledge, functional data for the expression of Cav1.2 currents in neurons. Finally, using shRNA gene knockdown methodology, and histological analyses of SGNs from Cav1.2(+/-) and Cav1.3(+/-) mice, we were able to establish the differential roles of Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 in SGNs.
    Journal of Neuroscience 05/2014; 34(21):7383-93. · 6.75 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Neuroscience 05/2014; 34(21):7383. · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The KCNE3 β-subunit interacts with and regulates the voltage-dependent gating, kinetics and pharmacology of a variety of Kv channels in neurons. Because a single neuron may express multiple KCNE3 partners, it is impossible to predict the overall functional relevance of the single transmembrane-domain peptide on the pore-forming K+ channel subunits that it associates with. In the inner ear, the role of KCNE3 is undefined, despite its association with Meniere's disease and tinnitus. To gain insights on the functional significance of KCNE3 in auditory neurons, we examined the properties of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) in Kcne3 null mutant neurons relative to their age-matched controls. We demonstrate that null deletion of Kcne3 abolishes characteristic wide-variations in the resting membrane potentials (RMPs) of SGNs, and yields age-dependent alterations in action potential (AP) and firing properties of neurons along the contour of the cochlear axis, in comparison with age-matched wild-type neurons. The properties of basal SGNs were markedly altered in Kcne3-/- mice compared with the wild-type controls; these include reduced AP latency, amplitude and increased firing frequency. Analyses of the underlying conductance demonstrate that null mutation of Kcne3 results in enhanced outward K+ currents, which is sufficient to explain the ensuing membrane potential changes. Additionally, we have demonstrated the KCNE3 may regulate the activity of Kv4.2 channels in SGNs. Finally, there were developmentally-mediated compensatory changes that occurred such that by 8 weeks after birth, the electrical properties of the null mutant neurons were virtually indistinguishable from the wild-type neurons, suggesting that ion channel remodeling in auditory neurons progresses beyond hearing onset.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular potential of excitable and nonexcitable cells with respect to ground is ∼0 mV. One of the known exceptions in mammals is the cochlear duct, where the potential is ∼80-100 mV, called the endocochlear potential (EP). The EP serves as the "battery" for transduction of sound, contributing toward the sensitivity of the auditory system. The stria vascularis (StV) of the cochlear duct is the station where the EP is generated, but the cell-specific roles in the StV are ill defined. Using the intermediate cell (IC)-specific tyrosinase promoter, under the control of diphtheria toxin (DT), we eliminated and/or halted differentiation of neural crest melanocytes after migration to the StV. The ensuing adult transgenic mice are profoundly deaf. Additionally, the EP was abolished. Expression of melanocyte early marker and Kir4.1 in ICs precedes the onset of pigment synthesis. Activation of DT leads to loss of ICs. Finally, in accord with the distinct embryology of retinal pigmented cells, transgenic mice with toxigenic ablation of neural crest-derived melanocytes have intact visual responses. We assert that the tyrosinase promoter is the distinct target for genetic manipulation of IC-specific genes.
    Journal of Neuroscience 09/2013; 33(36):14601-6. · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental plasticity in spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) ensues from profound alterations in the functional properties of the developing hair cell (HC). For example, pre-hearing HCs are spontaneously active. However, at the post-hearing stage, HC membrane properties transition to graded receptor potentials. The dendrotoxin (DTX)-sensitive Kv1 channel subunits (Kv1.1, 1.2, 1.6) shape the firing properties and membrane potential of SGNs, and the expression of the channel undergoes developmental changes. Because of the stochastic nature of Kv subunit heteromultimerization, it has been difficult to determine physiologically relevant subunit-specific interactions and their functions in the underlying mechanisms of Kv1 channel plasticity in SGNs. Using Kcna2 null mutant mice, we demonstrate a surprising paradox in changes in the membrane properties of SGNs. The resting membrane potential of Kcna2(-/-) SGNs was significantly hyperpolarized compared to age-matched wild type (WT) SGNs. Analyses of outward currents in the mutant SGNs suggest an apparent ~2-fold increase in outward K(+) currents. We show that in vivo and in vitro heteromultimerization of Kv1.2 and 1.4 α-subunits underlies the striking and unexpected alterations in the properties of SGNs. The results suggest that heteromeric interactions of Kv1.2 and 1.4 dominate the defining features of Kv1 channels in SGNs.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 07/2013; · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Adenylyl cyclase (AC) represents one of the principal molecules in the β-adrenergic receptor (βAR) signaling pathway, responsible for the conversion of ATP to the second messenger, cAMP. AC type 5 (ACV) and 6 (ACVI) are the two main isoforms in the heart. While highly homologous in sequence, these two proteins nevertheless play different roles during the development of heart failure. Caveolin-3 is a scaffolding protein, integrating many intracellular signaling molecules in specialized areas called caveolae. In cardiomyocytes, caveolin is predominantly located along invaginations of the cell membrane known as t-tubules. Objective: We take advantage of ACV and ACVI knockout mouse models to test the hypothesis that there is distinct compartmentalization of these two isoforms in ventricular myocytes. Methods and Results: We demonstrate that ACV and ACVI isoforms exhibit distinct subcellular localization. ACVI isoform is localized in the plasma membrane outside of the t-tubular region, and is responsible for β1AR signaling-mediated enhancement of the L-type Ca(2+) current (ICa,L) in ventricular myocytes. In contrast, ACV isoform is localized mainly in the t-tubular region where its influence on ICa,L is restricted by phosphodiesterase (PDE). We further demonstrate that the interaction between caveolin-3 with ACV and PDE is responsible for the compartmentalization of ACV signaling. Conclusions: Our results provide new insights into the compartmentalization of the two AC isoforms in the regulation of ICa,L in ventricular myocytes. Since caveolae are found in most mammalian cells, the mechanism of βAR and AC compartmentalization may also be important for βAR signaling in other cell types.
    Circulation Research 04/2013; · 11.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanisms that guide directional migration of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone (SVZ) are not well understood. We report here that endogenous electric currents serve as a guidance cue for neuroblast migration. We identify the existence of naturally occurring electric currents (1.5±0.6 μA/cm(2), average field strength of ∼3 mV/mm) along the rostral migration path in adult mouse brain. Electric fields of similar strength direct migration of neuroblasts from the SVZ in culture and in brain slices. The purinergic receptor P2Y1 mediates this migration. The results indicate that naturally occurring electric currents serve as a new guidance mechanism for rostral neuronal migration.
    EMBO Reports 01/2013; · 7.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whereas prehearing spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) rely faithfully on outputs from spontaneously active developing hair cells, the electrical phenotypes of posthearing neurons are shaped by distinct rapid and graded receptor potentials from hair cells. To date, technical difficulties in isolation of fragile posthearing neurons from the rigid bony labyrinth of the inner ear have hindered analyses of the electrical phenotype of SGNs. Therefore, we have recently developed new strategies to isolate posthearing mouse SGNs for functional analyses. Here, we describe the coarse and fine properties of Ca(2+) currents, which sculpt the firing properties of posthearing SGNs. Murine SGNs express multiple Ca(2+) channel currents to enable diverse functions. We have demonstrated that suppression of Ca(2+) currents results in significant hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential (rmp) of basal SGNs, suggesting that Ca(2+) influx primes rmp for excitation. In contrast, removal of external Ca(2+) has modest effects on rmp of apical SGNs. The blockade of Ca(2+) currents with a mixture of specific blockers attenuates spontaneously active SGNs. Paradoxically, different subtypes of Ca(2+) currents, such as R-type currents, may activate resting outward conductances since blockage of the current results in depolarization of rmp. In keeping with whole-cell current data, single-channel records revealed multiple diverse Ca(2+) channels in SGNs. Additionally, there were differential expressions of distinct Ca(2+) current densities in the apicobasal contour of the adult cochlea. This report provides invaluable insights into Ca(2+)-dependent processes in adult SGNs.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2012; 32(46):16314-16330. · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study is to elucidate the pathogenic role of eicosanoids in myocardial infarction (MI). The accumulation of eicosanoid metabolites in ischaemic myocardium has been demonstrated in animal models and patients with MI, and it occurs in parallel with the development of irreversible cardiac damage. However, the key question that remains unanswered is whether cardiac-generated eicosanoids are the cause or the consequence of cardiac cell damage in MI. We used a clinically relevant animal model of MI and metabolic profiling to monitor the eicosanoid profile in ischaemic myocardium. We demonstrate that ischaemia induces the generation of prostanoids mainly through the cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 pathway in the myocardium. Cardiac-generated prostanoids, particularly prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)), can directly induce apoptosis in cardiac myocytes. This effect involves the up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic gene, Fas ligand (FasL), in a D-type prostanoid receptor-independent manner. The treatment of the MI mice with low-dose aspirin effectively inhibits the ischaemia-induced prostanoid generation and FasL expression in the myocardium, leading to the reduction in cardiac apoptosis following cardiac ischaemia. Cardiac ischaemia results in COX-1-mediated generation of prostanoids, which by inducing cardiac myocyte apoptosis, contribute to the cardiac cell loss following MI. The benefits of low-dose aspirin treatment in MI may be attributable, in part, to the inhibition of cardiac prostanoid generation and attenuation of apoptosis. Further understanding of the mechanisms underlying prostanoid-induced cardiac apoptosis may be of significant value in designing new therapeutic strategies to prevent aberrant cell loss following MI and subsequent progression to heart failure.
    Cardiovascular Research 06/2012; 95(3):336-45. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evolution has transformed a simple ear with few vestibular maculae into a complex three-dimensional structure consisting of nine distinct endorgans. It is debatable whether the sensory epithelia underwent progressive segregation or emerged from distinct sensory patches. To address these uncertainties we examined the morphological and functional phenotype of trans-differentiated rat hair cells to reveal their primitive or endorgan-specific origins. Additionally, it is uncertain how Atoh1-mediated trans-differentiated hair cells trigger the processes that establish their neural ranking from the vestibulocochlear ganglia. We have demonstrated that the morphology and functional expression of ionic currents in trans-differentiated hair cells resemble those of "ancestral" hair cells, even at the lesser epithelia ridge aspects of the cochlea. The structures of stereociliary bundles of trans-differentiated hair cells were in keeping with cells in the vestibule. Functionally, the transient expression of Na⁺ and I(h) currents initiates and promotes evoked spikes. Additionally, Ca²⁺ current was expressed and underwent developmental changes. These events correlate well with the innervation of ectopic hair cells. New "born" hair cells at the abneural aspects of the cochlea are innervated by spiral ganglion neurons, presumably under the tropic influence of chemoattractants. The disappearance of inward currents coincides well with the attenuation of evoked electrical activity, remarkably recapitulating the development of hair cells. Ectopic hair cells underwent stepwise changes in the magnitude and kinetics of transducer currents. We propose that Atoh1 mediates trans-differentiation of morphological and functional "ancestral" hair cells that are likely to undergo diversification in an endorgan-specific manner.
    Journal of Neuroscience 03/2012; 32(11):3712-25. · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    Snezana Levic, Ping Lv, Ebenezer N Yamoah
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    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous action potentials have been described in developing sensory systems. These rhythmic activities may have instructional roles for the functional development of synaptic connections. The importance of spontaneous action potentials in the developing auditory system is underpinned by the stark correlation between the time of auditory system functional maturity, and the cessation of spontaneous action potentials. A prominent K(+) current that regulates patterning of action potentials is I(A). This current undergoes marked changes in expression during chicken hair cell development. Although the properties of I(A) are not normally classified as Ca(2+)-dependent, we demonstrate that throughout the development of chicken hair cells, I(A) is greatly reduced by acute alterations of intracellular Ca(2+). As determinants of spike timing and firing frequency, intracellular Ca(2+) buffers shift the activation and inactivation properties of the current to more positive potentials. Our findings provide evidence to demonstrate that the kinetics and functional expression of I(A) are tightly regulated by intracellular Ca(2+). Such feedback mechanism between the functional expression of I(A) and intracellular Ca(2+) may shape the activity of spontaneous action potentials, thus potentially sculpting synaptic connections in an activity-dependent manner in the developing cochlea.
    PLoS ONE 12/2011; 6(12):e29005. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Snezana Levic, Ebenezer N Yamoah
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in refining the "fluid mosaic" model of the plasma membrane have revealed that it is wrought with an ordered lipid composition that undergoes remarkable plasticity during cell development. Despite the evidence that specific signaling proteins and ion channels gravitate toward these lipid microdomains, identification of their functional impact remains a formidable challenge. We report that in contrast to matured auditory hair cells, depletion of membrane cholesterol in developing hair cells produced marked potentiation of voltage-gated K(+) currents (I(Kv)). The enhanced magnitude of I(Kv) in developing hair cells was in keeping with the reduced cholesterol-rich microdomains in matured hair cells. Remarkably, potentiation of the cholesterol-sensitive current was sufficient to abolish spontaneous activity, a functional blueprint of developing and regenerating hair cells. Collectively, these findings provide evidence that developmental plasticity of lipid microdomains and the ensuing changes in K(+) currents are important determinants of one of the hallmarks in the maturation of hearing.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2011; 286(7):5768-73. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Dongguang Wei, Ebenezer N. Yamoah
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    ABSTRACT: Irreversible loss of hair cells and their innervating spiral ganglion neurons is the major reason for hearing loss. Attempts at integrating new supplementary cell sources into the damaged inner ear have been tested extensively. This chapter reviews the history of available cell sources and their achievements, limitations, and future developments for hearing rehabilitation. It addressed issues regarding the “self-repair” of mammalian inner ear sensory epithelium, including (1) recruitment of the in situ proliferation and differentiation of endogenous cells at the damaged site and (2) autologous transplantation, which offer new optimism for helping hearing-impaired individuals. KeywordsStem cells-Inner ear-Sensory epithelium-Rehabilitation
    12/2010: pages 89-101;
  • Ping Lv, Dongguang Wei, Ebenezer N Yamoah
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    ABSTRACT: Alterations in K(v)7-mediated currents in excitable cells result in several diseased conditions. A case in DFNA2, an autosomal dominant version of progressive hearing loss, involves degeneration of hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) from basal to apical cochlea, manifesting as high-to-low frequency hearing loss, and has been ascribed to mutations in K(v)7.4 channels. Analyses of the cellular mechanisms of K(v)7.4 mutations and progressive degeneration of SGNs have been hampered by the paucity of functional data on the role K(v)7 channels play in young and adult neurons. To understand the cellular mechanisms of the disease in SGNs, we examined temporal (young, 0.5 months old, and senescent, 17 months old) and spatial (apical and basal) roles of K(v)7-mediated currents. We report that differential contribution of K(v)7 currents in mice SGNs results in distinct and profound variations of the membrane properties of basal versus apical neurons. The current produces a major impact on the resting membrane potential of basal neurons. Inhibition of the current promotes membrane depolarization, resulting in activation of Ca(2+) currents and a sustained rise in intracellular Ca(2+). Using TUNEL assay, we demonstrate that a sustained increase in intracellular Ca(2+) mediated by inhibition of K(v)7 current results in significant SGN apoptotic death. Thus, this study provides evidence of the cellular etiology and mechanisms of SGN degeneration in DFNA2.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 285(45):34699-707. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Ping Lv, Dongguang Wei, Ebenezer N. Yamoah
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    ABSTRACT: Alterations in Kv7-mediated currents in excitable cells result in several diseased conditions. A case in DFNA2, an autosomal dominant version of progressive hearing loss, involves degeneration of hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) from basal to apical cochlea, manifesting as high-to-low frequency hearing loss, and has been ascribed to mutations in Kv7.4 channels. Analyses of the cellular mechanisms of Kv7.4 mutations and progressive degeneration of SGNs have been hampered by the paucity of functional data on the role Kv7 channels play in young and adult neurons. To understand the cellular mechanisms of the disease in SGNs, we examined temporal (young, 0.5 months old, and senescent, 17 months old) and spatial (apical and basal) roles of Kv7-mediated currents. We report that differential contribution of Kv7 currents in mice SGNs results in distinct and profound variations of the membrane properties of basal versus apical neurons. The current produces a major impact on the resting membrane potential of basal neurons. Inhibition of the current promotes membrane depolarization, resulting in activation of Ca2+ currents and a sustained rise in intracellular Ca2+. Using TUNEL assay, we demonstrate that a sustained increase in intracellular Ca2+ mediated by inhibition of Kv7 current results in significant SGN apoptotic death. Thus, this study provides evidence of the cellular etiology and mechanisms of SGN degeneration in DFNA2.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 285(45):34699-34707. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Hyo Jeong Kim, Ping Lv, Choong-Ryoul Sihn, Ebenezer N Yamoah
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in identifying deafness genes, determination of the underlying cellular and functional mechanisms for auditory diseases remains a challenge. Mutations of the human K(+) channel hKv7.4 lead to post-lingual progressive hearing loss (DFNA2), which affects world-wide population with diverse racial backgrounds. Here, we have generated the spectrum of point mutations in the hKv7.4 that have been identified as diseased mutants. We report that expression of five point mutations in the pore region, namely L274H, W276S, L281S, G285C, and G296S, as well as the C-terminal mutant G321S in the heterologous expression system, yielded non-functional channels because of endoplasmic reticulum retention of the mutant channels. We mimicked the dominant diseased conditions by co-expressing the wild-type and mutant channels. As compared with expression of wild-type channel alone, the blend of wild-type and mutant channel subunits resulted in reduced currents. Moreover, the combinatorial ratios of wild type:mutant and the ensuing current magnitude could not be explained by the predictions of a tetrameric channel and a dominant negative effect of the mutant subunits. The results can be explained by the dependence of cell surface expression of the mutant on the wild-type subunit. Surprisingly, a transmembrane mutation F182L, which has been identified in a pre-lingual progressive hearing loss patient in Taiwan, yielded cell surface expression and functional features that were similar to that of the wild type, suggesting that this mutation may represent redundant polymorphism. Collectively, these findings provide traces of the cellular mechanisms for DFNA2.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; 286(2):1517-27. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The enzyme nitric oxide (NO) synthase, that produces the signaling molecule NO, has been identified in several cell types in the inner ear. However, it is unclear whether a measurable quantity of NO is released in the inner ear to confer specific functions. Indeed, the functional significance of NO and the elementary cellular mechanism thereof are most uncertain. Here, we demonstrate that the sensory epithelia of the frog saccule release NO and explore its release mechanisms by using self-referencing NO-selective electrodes. Additionally, we investigated the functional effects of NO on electrical properties of hair cells and determined their underlying cellular mechanism. We show detectable amounts of NO are released by hair cells (>50 nM). Furthermore, a hair-cell efferent modulator acetylcholine produces at least a threefold increase in NO release. NO not only attenuated the baseline membrane oscillations but it also increased the magnitude of current required to generate the characteristic membrane potential oscillations. This resulted in a rightward shift in the frequency-current relationship and altered the excitability of hair cells. Our data suggest that these effects ensue because NO reduces whole cell Ca(2+) current and drastically decreases the open probability of single-channel events of the L-type and non L-type Ca(2+) channels in hair cells, an effect that is mediated through direct nitrosylation of the channel and activation of protein kinase G. Finally, NO increases the magnitude of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents via direct NO nitrosylation. We conclude that NO-mediated inhibition serves as a component of efferent nerve modulation of hair cells.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 03/2010; 103(5):2494-505. · 3.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
374.68 Total Impact Points


  • 2001–2013
    • University of California, Davis
      • • Center for Neuroscience
      • • Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
      • • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
      • • School of Medicine
      Davis, California, United States
  • 2012
    • Hebei Medical University
      Chentow, Hebei, China
  • 2008
    • University of Auckland
      • Department of Physiology
      Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2004
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • 1996–1998
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physiology
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 1995–1998
    • University of Texas Medical School
      • Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 1997
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Physiology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1994
    • University of Houston
      Houston, Texas, United States