In a new research study, it has been discovered that malfunction of commonly found inhibitor of an enzyme in our body causes genetic mutation which leads to hearing loss among humans by destroying proteins.
This was first identified in the year 2010, however recently the study has come up with its own revelations. Australian scientists from Monash University and the University of Melbourne have recently found out that the genetic mutation causes hearing loss among people in their early twenties.
Malfunction of the inhibitor SERPINB6:
Hearing loss is caused by the malfunction of the commonly found inhibitor known as SERPINB6, which therefore causes the inner sensory cells of the ear to die.
The genetic mutation induces the malfunction of the inhibitor SERPINB6, which thereby is used for the protection of the inner ear cells for damage and destruction.
Published in the American Journal of Pathology ,this new study was led by Phillip Bird and Dion Kaiserman from Monash University`s School of Biomedical Sciences.
According to the research, Professor Bird said, “We cannot yet identify how SERPINB6 mutation accelerates hearing loss, but affected people can lose their hearing in their twenties, rather than their sixties,”.
The researchers used animal models to find out what affect the inhibitor SERPINB6 had on the hearing loss among humans too. Lead author of the study, Justin Tan, from Melbourne University`s Department of Otolaryngology discovered that specialised hearing cells in the inner ear were affected.
The researchers induced mice with this condition. It was observed that the mice started to loose their hearing capability at a mere age of three weeks, which is equivalent to teenage years amongst humans.
As the mice aged, their hearing capability worsened which was also seen among humans. It was discovered by the researchers of the University of Melbourne that when the inner ears of the mice were examined under the microscope, tiny specialised cells in the inner ear died, thus causing hearing impair.
Not only were the hearing cells that detect sound vibrations were destroyed but also the other sensory cells which were used to detect sound and the neighbouring fibrocytes that supported them were damaged and destroyed, thus causing early hearing loss.
Findings of the study:
According to the substantiated findings of the study, Professor Bird found out that the destruction of fibrocytes was not only significant but also very uncommon. This was one of the main findings of the study.
He said, “We are finally beginning to understand the role of these proteins in protecting our hearing,” .
Hearing cells and fibrocytes are both required to transform sound and electric signals in our hearing nerve. In the past few decades mutations affecting sensory hearing cells to cause hearing loss was known, however how mutations affect fibrocytes is not known as yet and still remains uncommon.
National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia supported this research. NQGVRCFEYA8W