Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase isoform 2a is the PMCA of hair bundles

Rachel A. Dumont, Ulysses Lins, Adelaida G. Filoteo, John T. Penniston, Bechara Kachar, Peter G. Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Mechanoelectrical transduction channels of hair cells allow for the entry of appreciable amounts of Ca2+, which regulates adaptation and triggers the mechanical activity of hair bundles. Most Ca2+ that enters transduction channels is extruded by the plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase (PMCA), a Ca2+ pump that is highly concentrated in hair bundles and may be essential for normal hair cell function. Because PMCA isozymes and splice forms are regulated differentially and have distinct biochemical properties, we determined the identity of hair bundle PMCA in frog and rat hair cells. By screening a bullfrog saccular cDNA library, we identified abundant PMCA1 b and PMCA2a clones as well as rare PMCA2b and PMCA2c clones. Using immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation experiments, we showed in bullfrog sacculus that PMCA1b is the major isozyme of hair cell and supporting cell basolateral membranes and that PMCA2a is the only PMCA present in hair bundles. This complete segregation of PMCA1 and PMCA2 isozymes holds for rat auditory and vestibular hair cells; PMCA2a is the only PMCA isoform in hair bundles of outer hair cells and vestibular hair cells and is the predominant PMCA of hair bundles of inner hair cells. Our data suggest that hair cells control plasma membrane Ca2+-pumping activity by targeting specific PMCA isozymes to distinct subcellular locations. Because PMCA2a is the only Ca2+ pump present at appreciable levels in hair bundles, the biochemical properties of this pump must account fully for the physiological features of transmembrane Ca2+ pumping in bundles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5066-5078
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2001


  • Calcium
  • Calcium pump
  • Cochlea
  • Hair cells
  • Isozymes
  • Stereocilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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