The Usher syndrome 3A (CLRN1) gene encodes clarin-1, which is a member of the tetraspanin family of transmembrane proteins. Although identified more than 6 years ago, little is known about its localization or function in the eye and ear. We developed a polyclonal antibody that react with all clarin-1 isoforms and used it to characterize protein expression in cochlea and retina. In the cochlea, we observe clarin-1expression in the stereocilia of P0 mice, and in synaptic terminals present at the base of the auditory hair cells from E18 to P6. In the retina, clarin-1 localizes to the connecting cilia, inner segment of photoreceptors and to the ribbon synapses. RT-PCR from P0 cochlea and P28 retina show mRNAs encoding only isoforms 2 and 3. Western blots show that only isoform 2 is present in protein extracts from these same tissues. We examined clarin-1 expression in the immortomouse-derived hair cell line UB/OC-1. Only isoform 2 is expressed in UB/OC-1 at both mRNA and protein levels, suggesting this isoform is biologically relevant to hair cell function. The protein co-localizes with microtubules and post-transgolgi vesicles. The subcellular localization of clarin-1 in hair cells and photoreceptors suggests it functions at both the basal and apical poles of neurosensoriepithelia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems