Pannexin 1 deficiency can induce hearing loss

Hong Bo Zhao, Yan Zhu, Chun Liang, Jin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Gap junctions play a critical role in hearing. Connexin gap junction gene mutations can induce a high incidence of hearing loss. Pannexin (Panx) gene also encodes gap junction proteins in vertebrates. Panx1 is a predominant pannexin isoform and has extensive expression in the cochlea. Here, we report that deletion of Panx1 in the cochlea could produce a progressive hearing loss. The auditory brainstem response (ABR) recording showed that hearing loss was moderate to severe and severe at highfrequencies. Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE), which reflects the activity of active cochlear mechanics that can amply acoustic stimulation to enhance hearing sensitivity and frequency selectivity, was also reduced. We further found that Panx1 deficiency could activate Caspase-3 cell apoptotic pathway in the cochlea to cause hair cells and other types of cells degeneration. These data indicate that like connexins Panx1 deficiency can also induce hearing loss. These data also suggest that pannexins play important rather than redundant roles in the cochlea and hearing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Dr. Gerhard Dahl at Miami University for kindly providing anti-Panx1 antibody. This work was supported by a grant (R01) from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , DC 05989 .


  • Caspasae-3
  • Cell degeneration
  • Deafness
  • Gap junction
  • Inner ear
  • Pannexin 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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