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Noise-induced cochlear F-actin depolymerization is mediated via ROCK2/p-ERM signaling.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Neurochemistry
1471-4159
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Volume
133
Issue
5
Pages
617–628
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/jnc.13061
PMID: 25683353
Source
Medline
Keywords
  • Rock2 Sirna
  • Actin Cytoskeleton
  • Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
  • Radixin Sirna
  • Rho-Associated Kinases

Abstract

Our previous work has suggested that traumatic noise activates Rho-GTPase pathways in cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs), resulting in cell death and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). In this study, we investigated Rho effectors, Rho-associated kinases (ROCKs), and the targets of ROCKs, the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) proteins, in the regulation of the cochlear actin cytoskeleton using adult CBA/J mice under conditions of noise-induced temporary threshold shift (TTS) and permanent threshold shift (PTS) hearing loss, which result in changes to the F/G-actin ratio. The levels of cochlear ROCK2 and p-ERM decreased 1 h after either TTS- or PTS-noise exposure. In contrast, ROCK2 and p-ERM in OHCs decreased only after PTS-, not after TTS-noise exposure. Treatment with lysophosphatidic acid, an activator of the Rho pathway, resulted in significant reversal of the F/G-actin ratio changes caused by noise exposure and attenuated OHC death and NIHL. Conversely, the down-regulation of ROCK2 by pretreatment with ROCK2 siRNA reduced the expression of ROCK2 and p-ERM in OHCs, exacerbated TTS to PTS, and worsened OHC loss. Additionally, pretreatment with siRNA against radixin, an ERM protein, aggravated TTS to PTS. Our results indicate that a ROCK2-mediated ERM-phosphorylation signaling cascade modulates noise-induced hair cell loss and NIHL by targeting the cytoskeleton. We propose the following cascade following noise trauma leading to alteration of the F-actin arrangement in the outer hair cell cytoskeleton: Noise exposure reduces the levels of GTP-RhoA and subsequently diminishes levels of RhoA effector ROCK2 (Rho-associated kinase 2). Phosphorylation of ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) by ROCK2 normally allows ERM to cross-link actin filaments with the plasma membrane. Noise-decreased levels of ROCK results in reduction of phosphorylation of ERM that leads to depolymerization of actin filaments. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), an agonist of RhoA, binds to the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) leading to activation of RhoA through Gα12/13 and RhoGEF. Administration of LPA rescues the noise-diminished F/G-actin ratio.

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