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Prestin is the motor protein of the outer hair cells of the inner ear of the mammalian cochlea[1]. It is highly expressed in the outer hair cells, and is not expressed in the nonmotile inner hair cells. Immunolocalization shows prestin is expressed in the lateral plasma membrane of the outer hair cells, the region where electromotility occurs. The expression pattern correlates with the appearance of outer hair cell electromotility.

Prestin (mol. wt. 80 kDa) is a member of a distinct family of anion transporters, SLC26. Members of this family are structurally well conserved and can mediate the electroneutral exchange of chloride and carbonate across the plasma membrane of mammalian cells, two anions found to be essential for outer hair cell motility. Unlike the classical, enzymatically driven motors, the function of this new type of motor is based on direct voltage-to-displacement conversion. It acts several orders of magnitude faster than cellular motor proteins. A targeted gene disruption strategy of prestin showed a >100-fold (or 40 dB) loss of auditory sensitivity[2].

Prestin was discovered and named by Jing Zheng et al. in 2000 from the musical notation presto.

The prestin molecule was patented in 2003[3].


  1. ^ Zheng, Jing; Weixing Shen, David Z. Z. He, Kevin B. Long, Laird D. Madison, Peter Dallos (2000-05-11). Prestin is the motor protein of cochlear outer hair cells. Nature pp. 149-155 (405). Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
  2. ^ Liberman, M. Charles; Jiangang Gao, David Z. Z. He, Xudong Wu, Shuping Jia, Jian Zuo (2002-08-28). Prestin is required for electromotility of the outer hair cell and for the cochlear amplifier. Nature pp. 300-304 (419). Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
  3. ^ Young, Kelly (2007-02-14). Motion-sensitive spacesuits could generate power. news service. Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Prestin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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