Arnaud P.J., Giese, Weng, W-H., Kindt, K.S., Chang, V.H.H., Montgomery, J.S., Ratzan, E.M., Beirl, A.J., Rivera, R.A., Lotthammer, J.M., Walujkar, S., Foster, M.P., Zobeiri, O.A., Holt, J.R., Riazuddin, S., Cullen, K.C., Sotomayor, M. & Ahmed, Z.M. (2023). Complexes of vertebrate TMC1/2 and CIB2/3 proteins form hair-cell mechanotransduction cation channels. Retrieved from BioRxiv 2023.05.26.542533.
Calcium and integrin-binding protein 2 (CIB2) and CIB3 bind to transmembrane channel-like 1 (TMC1) and TMC2, the pore-forming subunits of the inner-ear mechano-electrical transduction (MET) apparatus. Whether these interactions are functionally relevant across mechanosensory organs and vertebrate species is unclear. Here we show that both CIB2 and CIB3 can form heteromeric complexes with TMC1 and TMC2 and are integral for MET function in mouse cochlea and vestibular end organs as well as in zebrafish inner ear and lateral line. Our AlphaFold 2 models suggest that vertebrate CIB proteins can simultaneously interact with at least two cytoplasmic domains of TMC1 and TMC2 as validated using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of TMC1 fragments interacting with CIB2 and CIB3. Molecular dynamics simulations of TMC1/2 complexes with CIB2/3 predict that TMCs are structurally stabilized by CIB proteins to form cation channels. Overall, our work demonstrates that intact CIB2/3 and TMC1/2 complexes are integral to hair-cell MET function in vertebrate mechanosensory epithelia.