What is it about?

Sound is detected by our sound receptor hair cell. Atoh1 is essential in hair cell production. The previously recognized enhancer 1 is thought to be required in Atoh1 regulation. But, is it really the case? Our study does not support it, instead we have identified two more Atoh1 enhancers and for the first time shown that the three enhancers cooperate to regulate Atoh1 expression.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that different enhancers of the same gene are active in distinct patterns in different cell types. Thus, how a gene (Atoh1 as an example) is activated is much more complex than previously thought.


Writing this article was a great pleasure as it is my first time to deeply collaborate with an epigenetic laboratory group leader. The two previously unknown Atoh1 enhancers reported in this article will benefit future hair cell regeneration studies.

Zhiyong Liu
Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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This page is a summary of: Three distinctAtoh1enhancers cooperate for sound receptor hair cell development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2119850119.
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