Zona pellucida domain-containing protein β-tectorin is crucial for zebrafish proper inner ear development

Chung Hsiang Yang, Chia Hsiung Cheng, Gen Der Chen, Wei Hao Liao, Yi Chung Chen, Kai Yun Huang, Pung Pung Hwang, Sheng Ping L. Hwang, Chang Jen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The zona pellucida (ZP) domain is part of many extracellular proteins with diverse functions from structural components to receptors. The mammalian β-tectorin is a protein of 336 amino acid residues containing a single ZP domain and a putative signal peptide at the N-terminus of the protein. It is 1 component of a gel-like structure called the tectorial membrane which is involved in transforming sound waves into neuronal signals and is important for normal auditory function. β-Tectorin is specifically expressed in the mammalian and avian inner ear. Methodology/Principal Findings: We identified and cloned the gene encoding zebrafish β-tectorin. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we demonstrated that β-tectorin messenger RNA was expressed in the otic placode and specialized sensory patch of the inner ear during zebrafish embryonic stages. Morpholino knockdown of zebrafish β-tectorin affected the position and number of otoliths in the ears of morphants. Finally, swimming behaviors of β-tectorin morphants were abnormal since the development of the inner ear was compromised. Conclusions/Significance: Our results reveal that zebrafish β-tectorin is specifically expressed in the zebrafish inner ear, and is important for regulating the development of the zebrafish inner ear. Lack of zebrafish β-tectorin caused severe defects in inner ear formation of otoliths and function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23078
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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