Is otospiralin inner ear specific? Evidence for its expression in mouse brain

Boris Decourt, Dean Hillman, Yohan Bouleau, Didier Dulon, Aziz Hafidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The small protein otospiralin has initially been identified as an inner ear specific molecule. However, compelling evidence from high throughput sequencing projects suggested that otospiralin is likely expressed in the central nervous system. Here, we tested this hypothesis using a combination of molecular biology, immunological, and histological techniques, and found that otospiralin is expressed in numerous regions of the central nervous system in mouse. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed that otospiralin is widely expressed in neuronal cell bodies and glia. Ultrastructural observations in the cerebral cortex located the small protein in close proximity to membranous organelles in perikarya, the inner face of post-synaptic neuronal membranes, and in astrocytic processes. These results are in agreement with the predicted structure of the protein which revealed a single N-terminal transmembrane helix domain followed by a C-terminus cytosolic tail. Interestingly, 2 weeks after a mechanical trauma in the cerebral cortex, otospiralin expression increased in reactive astrocytes located within the vicinity of the site of injury, but not in neurons. Collectively, our observations suggest that otospiralin is possibly involved in signaling pathways, and could play a role in repair mechanisms subsequent to an injury in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Astrocyte
  • Axonal regeneration
  • Brain
  • Electron microscopy
  • In situ hybridization
  • Lesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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