Brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 1-associated protein 2-like protein 2 (BAIAP2L2), a membrane-binding protein required for the maintenance of mechanotransduction in hair cells, is selectively retained at the tips of transducing stereocilia. BAIAP2L2 trafficked to stereocilia tips in the absence of EPS8, but EPS8 increased the efficiency of localization. A tripartite complex of BAIAP2L2, EPS8, and MYO15A formed efficiently in vitro, and these three proteins robustly targeted to filopodia tips when coexpressed in cultured cells. Mice lacking functional transduction channels no longer concentrated BAIAP2L2 at row 2 stereocilia tips, a result that was phenocopied by blocking channels with tubocurarine in cochlear explants. Transduction channels permit Ca2+ entry into stereocilia, and we found that membrane localization of BAIAP2L2 was enhanced in the presence of Ca2+. Finally, reduction of intracellular Ca2+ in hair cells using BAPTA-AM led to a loss of BAIAP2L2 at stereocilia tips. Taken together, our results show that a MYO15A-EPS8 complex transports BAIAP2L2 to stereocilia tips, and Ca2+ entry through open channels at row 2 tips retains BAIAP2L2 there.
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