The Doetzlhofer Lab seeks to identify and characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern auditory sensory development and regeneration. The inner ear auditory sensory epithelium is critical for our ability to detect sound. Damage or loss to its mechano-sensory hair cells is permanent, leading to hearing deficits and deafness. However, in non-mammalian vertebrates, surrounding supporting cells undergo a process of de-differentiation after hair cell loss, and replace lost hair cells by either cell division or direct trans-differentiation.
Current research topics include:
- The function of RNA binding proteins LIN28B and LIN41 in sensory progenitor proliferation and differentiation
- The role of Notch signaling pathway in supporting cell differentiation and hair cell regeneration
Lab Website: Doetzlhofer Laboratory - Center for Sensory Biology
Campbell DP, Chrysostomou E, Doetzlhofer A. Canonical Notch signaling plays an instructive role in auditory supporting cell development. Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 20;6:19484. PMCID: PMC4726253.
Golden EJ, Benito-Gonzalez A, Doetzlhofer A. The RNA-binding protein LIN28B regulates developmental timing in the mammalian cochlea. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jul 21;112(29):E3864-73.PMCID: PMC4517247.
Benito-Gonzalez A, Doetzlhofer A. Hey1 and Hey2 control the spatial and temporal pattern of mammalian auditory hair cell differentiation downstream of Hedgehog signaling. J Neurosci. 2014 Sep 17;34(38):12865-76.PMCID:PMC4166165.
Korrapati S, Roux I, Glowatzki E, Doetzlhofer A. Notch signaling limits supporting cell plasticity in the hair cell-damaged early postnatal murine cochlea. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 30;8(8):e73276.PMCID: PMC3758270.
Doetzlhofer A, Basch ML, Ohyama T, Gessler M, Groves AK, Segil N. “Hey2 regulation by FGF provides a Notch-independent mechanism for maintaining pillar cell fate in the organ of Corti.” Dev Cell. 2009 Jan;16(1):58-69. PMCID:PMC2696015.
White PM, Doetzlhofer A, Lee YS, Groves AK, Segil N. “Mammalian cochlear supporting cells can divide and trans-differentiate into hair cells.” Nature. 2006 Jun 22;441(7096):984-7.