Protein called CHD7 protects neurons and cells of the hearing system from degeneration by stress
I am sure we've all been there. Swamped under at work. Juggling too many projects. Feeling completely stressed. Well, the job of our auditory cells is a little similar. Our ability to hear is an energy-intensive process which exposes our auditory neurons and the hair cells in our ears under a certain type of stress; oxidative stress. These cells are hypersensitive to stress and exposure can quickly lead to cell death and as a result, hearing loss. So what stops us all losing our hearing much quicker? A protein called CHD7. By deleting the gene that encodes it in mice and removing the protection, hair cells (shown in pink and green) rapidly die off (right) compared to mice that have CHD7 (left). Individuals with CHARGE syndrome often suffer from hearing loss because they lack this shielding protein, so hearing loss could be an early indicator for such conditions.
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