Lin, Y.H., Hung, G.Y., Wu, L.C., Chen, S.W., Lin, L.Y., Horng, J.L. (2015) Anion Exchanger 1b in Stereocilia Is Required for the Functioning of Mechanotransducer Channels in Lateral-Line Hair Cells of Zebrafish. PLoS One. 10:e0117041.
The anion exchanger (AE) plays critical roles in physiological processes including CO2 transport and volume regulation in erythrocytes and acid-base regulation in renal tubules. Although expression of the AE in inner-ear hair cells was reported, its specific localization and function are still unclear. Using in situ hybridization, we found that the AE1b transcript is expressed in lateral-line hair cells of zebrafish larvae. An immunohistochemical analysis with a zebrafish-specific antibody localized AE1b to stereocilia of hair cells, and the expression was eliminated by morpholino knockdown of AE1b. A non-invasive, scanning ion-selective electrode technique was applied to analyze mechanotransducer (MET) channel-mediated Ca2+ influx at stereocilia of hair cells of intact fish. Ca2+ influx was effectively suppressed by AE1b morpholino knockdown and inhibitor (DIDS) treatment. Elevating external Ca2+ (0.2 to 2 mM) neutralized the inhibition of DIDS. Taken together, this study provides solid evidence to show that AE1b in stereocilia is required for the proper functioning of MET channels.