Molecular cloning and characterization of an inner ear-specific structural protein

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Science  17 Feb 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5200, pp. 1031-1034
DOI: 10.1126/science.7863331


Molecular biological studies of the mammalian inner ear have been limited by the relatively small size of the sensory endorgans contained within. The saccular otolithic organ in teleostian fish is structurally similar to its mammalian counterpart but can contain an order of magnitude more sensory cells. The prospect of the evolutionary conservation of proteins utilized in the vertebrate inner ear and the relative abundance of teleostian saccular sensory tissue made this an attractive system for molecular biological studies. A complementary DNA obtained by differential screening of a saccular complementary DNA library was identified that encodes an inner ear-specific collagen molecule.