Insights into inner ear-specific gene regulation: Epigenetics and non-coding RNAs in inner ear development and regeneration

Angelika Doetzlhofer, Karen B. Avraham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The vertebrate inner ear houses highly specialized sensory organs, tuned to detect and encode sound, head motion and gravity. Gene expression programs under the control of transcription factors orchestrate the formation and specialization of the non-sensory inner ear labyrinth and its sensory constituents. More recently, epigenetic factors and non-coding RNAs emerged as an additional layer of gene regulation, both in inner ear development and disease. In this review, we provide an overview on how epigenetic modifications and non-coding RNAs, in particular microRNAs (miRNAs), influence gene expression and summarize recent discoveries that highlight their critical role in the proper formation of the inner ear labyrinth and its sensory organs. Finally, we discuss recent insights into how epigenetic factors and miRNAs may facilitate, or in the case of mammals, restrict inner ear sensory hair cell regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Volume65
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

Keywords

  • DNA methylation
  • Deafness
  • Hair cell regeneration
  • Histone modification
  • Inner ear development
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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