Protein needed for eye development also involved in detecting vibrations
When it comes to feeling good vibrations, the eyes have it. Experiments in mice and humans show that a protein important for eye development also plays a role in sensing vibrations. An international team has found that mice lacking a protein called c-Maf have deformed Pacinian corpuscles (shown here in a mouse’s leg), the vibration-detectors that surround mouse bones. People have Pacinian corpuscles in their palms and fingertips. When the researchers tested four people with eye cataracts due to malfunctioning c-Maf, those individuals had a hard time detecting high-frequency vibrations, the scientists report online February 16 in Science.
H. Wende et al. The transcription factor c-Maf controls touch receptor development and function. Science. Published online Feb 6, 2012. doi: 10.1126/science.1214314