VGLUT3-p.A211V variant fuses stereocilia bundles and elongates synaptic ribbons.

TitleVGLUT3-p.A211V variant fuses stereocilia bundles and elongates synaptic ribbons.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsJoshi Y, Petit CP, Miot S, Guillet M, Sendin G, Bourien J, Wang J, Pujol R, Mestikawy SEl, Puel J-L, Nouvian R
JournalJ Physiol
Date Published2021 Dec

DFNA25 is an autosomal-dominant and progressive form of human deafness caused by mutations in the SLC17A8 gene, which encodes the vesicular glutamate transporter type 3 (VGLUT3). To resolve the mechanisms underlying DFNA25, we studied phenotypes of mice harbouring the p.A221V mutation in humans (corresponding to p.A224V in mice). Using auditory brainstem response and distortion product otoacoustic emissions, we showed progressive hearing loss with intact cochlear amplification in the VGLUT3 mouse. The summating potential was reduced, indicating the alteration of inner hair cell (IHC) receptor potential. Scanning electron microscopy examinations demonstrated the collapse of stereocilia bundles in IHCs, leaving those from outer hair cells unaffected. In addition, IHC ribbon synapses underwent structural and functional modifications at later stages. Using super-resolution microscopy, we observed oversized synaptic ribbons and patch-clamp membrane capacitance measurements showed an increase in the rate of the sustained releasable pool exocytosis. These results suggest that DFNA25 stems from a failure in the mechano-transduction followed by a change in synaptic transfer. The VGLUT3 mouse model opens the way to a deeper understanding and to a potential treatment for DFNA25. KEY POINTS: The vesicular glutamate transporter type 3 (VGLUT3) loads glutamate into the synaptic vesicles of auditory sensory cells, the inner hair cells (IHCs). The VGLUT3-p.A211V variant is associated with human deafness DFNA25. Mutant mice carrying the VGLUT3-p.A211V variant show progressive hearing loss. IHCs from mutant mice harbour distorted stereocilary bundles, which detect incoming sound stimulation, followed by oversized synaptic ribbons, which release glutamate onto the afferent nerve fibres. These results suggest that DFNA25 stems from the failure of auditory sensory cells to faithfully transduce acoustic cues into neural messages.

Alternate JournalJ Physiol
PubMed ID34783032