Clarin-1 is a four-transmembrane protein expressed by hair cells and photoreceptors. Mutations in its corresponding gene are associated with Usher syndrome type 3, characterized by late-onset and progressive hearing and vision loss in humans. Mice carrying mutations in the clarin-1 gene have hair bundle dysmorphology and a delay in synapse maturation. In this paper, we examined the expression and function of clarin-1 in zebrafish hair cells. We observed protein expression as early as 1 d postfertilization. Knockdown of clarin-1 resulted in inhibition of FM1-43 incorporation, shortening of the kinocilia, and mislocalization of ribeye b clusters. These phenotypes were fully prevented by co-injection with clarin-1 transcript, requiring its C-terminal tail. We also observed an in vivo interaction between clarin-1 and Pcdh15a. Altogether, our results suggest that clarin-1 is functionally important for mechanotransduction channel activity and for proper localization of synaptic components, establishing a critical role for clarin-1 at the apical and basal poles of hair cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology