Sensing sound: Molecules that orchestrate mechanotransduction by hair cells

Piotr Kazmierczak, Ulrich Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Animals use acoustic signals to communicate and to obtain information about their environment. The processing of acoustic signals is initiated at auditory sense organs, where mechanosensory hair cells convert sound-induced vibrations into electrical signals. Although the biophysical principles underlying the mechanotransduction process in hair cells have been characterized in much detail over the past 30 years, the molecular building-blocks of the mechanotransduction machinery have proved to be difficult to determine. We review here recent studies that have both identified some of these molecules and established the mechanisms by which they regulate the activity of the still-elusive mechanotransduction channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-229
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in neurosciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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