Protein Myosin-VIIa essential for hair cell tensioning

I know from work on microphones that tension is critical. The ear hair-cells form “mechanical amplifiers” which must be even more critical about tension.

Paper from researchers at U Virginia and others gives new insight into this body process.

"Hair cells, the sensory receptors of the auditory and vestibular system, transduce mechanical stimuli from sound and head movement into an electrochemical signal.
"In this study, we made the unexpected discovery that inner hair cells (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs) preferentially express different isoforms of the candidate tip-link motor protein MYO7A. … The changes in MET current properties, hair bundle morphology and hearing function in the Myo7a-{delta}C mouse are in support for a direct role of MYO7A in tensioning the hair cell MET complex."

(This is not directly related to the 2009 research into stem cells growing new hair-cells.)
Light overview: Essential key to hearing sensitivity discovered
Dense paper:

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Here is a “popular science” account of the same research. Helps explain why normal hearing can be incredibly sensitive.