Macaca fascicularis is a highly advantageous model in which to study human cochlea with regard to both evolutionary proximity and physiological similarity of the auditory system. To better understand the properties of primate cochlear function, we analyzed the genes predominantly expressed in M. fascicularis cochlea. We compared the cochlear transcripts obtained from an adult male M. fascicularis by macaque and human GeneChip microarrays with those in multiple macaque and human tissues or cells and identified 344 genes with expression levels more than 2-fold greater than in the other tissues. These “cochlear signature genes” included 35 genes responsible for syndromic or nonsyndromic hereditary hearing loss. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed groups of genes categorized as “ear development” and “ear morphogenesis” in the top 20 gene ontology categories in the macaque and human arrays, respectively. This dataset will facilitate both the study of genes that contribute to primate cochlear function and provide insight to discover novel genes associated with hereditary hearing loss that have yet to be established using animal models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas