Inner ear protein function studied using RNA interference [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Role of Inner Ear Proteins in Hearing

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: E/Pr Don Robertson (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Jennifer Rodger Prof Gary Housley

Brief description The proper functioning of all cells tissues and organs depends on specific proteins that are manufactured by readout from the genome. The inner ear is no exception to this general principle and hence the normal hearing process depends critically on the proper functioning of key proteins. However, because of inherent limitations in the methods used to study their function in living tissues, the precise role of many inner ear proteins in the complex hearing process is not known or is at best poorly understood. In this project we will use a recently developed technique called RNA interference, to reduce the amounts of specific targeted proteins in the inner ear of experimental animals. We will then study the effects on the inner ear's ability to detect sounds. The technique differs from other genome-manipulating methods because it can be applied to a single intact organ in the mature animal. The results of this project will illuminate the role of specific inner ear proteins in the process of sound detection. The project will also demonstrate the feasibility of using the RNA interference technique to modify function in the adult inner ear, thus paving the way for future therapies for inherited hearing disorders.

Funding Amount $AUD 365,230.03

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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