FunctionNecessary for elongation and maintenance of inner and outer hair cell stereocilia in the organ of Corti in the inner ear.
Involvement in diseaseDefects in WHRN are the cause of deafness autosomal recessive type 31 (DFNB31) [MIM:607084]. DFNB31 is a form of sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural deafness results from damage to the neural receptors of the inner ear, the nerve pathways to the brain, or the area of the brain that receives sound information. Defects in WHRN are the cause of Usher syndrome type 2D (USH2D) [MIM:611383]. USH is a genetically heterogeneous condition characterized by the association of retinitis pigmentosa and sensorineural deafness. Age at onset and differences in auditory and vestibular function distinguish Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1), Usher syndrome type 2 (USH2) and Usher syndrome type 3 (USH3). USH2 is characterized by congenital mild hearing impairment with normal vestibular responses.
Cellular localizationCytoplasm. Cell projection > stereocilium. Cell projection > growth cone. Detected at the level of stereocilia in inner outer hair cells of the cochlea and vestibule. Co-localizes with the growing ends of actin filaments (By similarity). Colocalizes with MPP1 in the retina, at the outer limiting membrane (OLM), outer plexifirm layer (OPL), basal bodies and at the connecting cilium.