Dr. Zhibing Zhang, Associate Professor of Physiology & OB/GYN paper: "Planar Cell Polarity Defects and Hearing Loss in Sperm-Associated Antigen 6 (Spag6)-Deficient Mice" gets published in the American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology

Congratulations to Zhibing Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Physiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, for his paper "Planar Cell Polarity Defects and Hearing Loss in Sperm-Associated Antigen 6 (Spag6)-Deficient Mice" (C-00166-2020R3) being published online as an Article in Press (AiPS) in the American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology.


Dr. Zhang collaborated with Dr. Haibo Wang’s laboratory at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Shandong Provincial ENT Hospital in China.   

Sperm-associated antigen 6 (SPAG6) is a component in the central apparatus of motile cilia. The protein was originally considered to be only essential for motile cilia function, including modulating sperm motility, circulating cerebrospinal fluid, and expelling pathogens and particles from the respiratory track. Our recent studies demonstrated that SPAG6 also performs other functions, such as the regulation of ciliogenesis/spermatogenesis, orientation of cilia basal feet, and planar polarity.   

Sensory cells of the inner ear display unique structural features that underlie their mechanosensitivity. They represent a distinctive form of cellular polarity, known as planar cell polarity (PCP). In the present study, we discovered that Spag6-deficient mice lost hearing associated with abnormalities in cellular patterning, cell shape, stereocilia bundles and basal bodies, as well as abnormally distributed Frizzled class receptor 6 (FZD6), suggesting that Spag6 participates in PCP regulation. Moreover, we found that the sub-apical microtubule meshwork was disrupted. Our observations suggest new functions for Spag6 in hearing and PCP in the inner ear.  

Article version from the journal

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