Calcium-binding proteins in organ of Corti and basilar papilla: CBP-15, an unidentified calcium-binding protein of the inner ear

Masamitsu Senarita, Isolde Thalmann, Osamu Shibasaki, Ruediger Thalmann

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11 Scopus citations


In a previous paper (Thalmann et al., 1993) we reported that the amino acid sequence of OCP2, a low molecular weight acidic protein present in extremely high concentrations in the organ of Corti and absent in the basilar papilla, exhibits a rudimentary EF-hand - a potential calcium-binding domain. The present study was undertaken to determine whether OCP2 binds 45-calcium under non-denaturing conditions following separation by isoelectric focusing and transblotting. The same criterion was used to determine whether the EF-hands of several other calcium-binding proteins (CBP) are functional in organ of Corti and basilar papilla. OCP2 exhibited no 45-calcium binding. Calmodulin, present in the organ of Corti in extremely high concentrations and lower in basilar papilla, showed strong 45-calcium binding in both structures. While calbindin represents a major protein in basilar papilla and binds 45-calcium, this protein is a minor component in the organ of Corti; whether it binds 45-calcium remains to be decided. By extending the pI range in the acidic region of isoelectric focusing, a 15 kDa, highly acidic (pI ≈ 3.1) protein was revealed that constitutes a major protein in the organ of Corti; the protein was not detectable in the basilar papilla, spiral ligament/stria vascularis complex and numerous other organs tested. It remains to be resolved whether this protein represents an isoform of parvalbumin or a novel CBP. The differential make-up of CBPs between the mammalian organ of Corti and the avian basilar papillar is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalHearing research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • Basilar papilla
  • Calbindin
  • Calcium-binding protein
  • Calmodulin
  • Organ of corti
  • Parvalbumin


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