We report on a secreted protein found in mammalian cochlear outer hair cells (OHC) that is a member of the carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule (CEACAM) family of adhesion proteins. Ceacam16 mRNA is expressed in OHC, and its protein product localizes to the tips of the tallest stereocilia and the tectorial membrane (TM). This specific localization suggests a role in maintaining the integrity of the TM as well as in the connection between the OHC stereocilia and TM, a linkage essential for mechanical amplification. In agreement with this role, CEACAM16 colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with the TM protein α-tectorin. In addition, we show that mutation of CEACAM16 leads to autosomal dominant nonsyndromic deafness (ADNSHL) at the autosomal dominant hearing loss (DFNA4) locus. In aggregate, these data identify CEACAM16 as an α-tectorin–interacting protein that concentrates at the point of attachment of the TM to the stereocilia and, when mutated, results in ADNSHL at the DFNA4 locus
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.