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Why your hearing needs a REST published in eLife


REST silencing results in hearing loss due to up regulation of Kv7 in the cochlea published in eLife

Repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST) is a transcriptional repressor that orchestrates large-scale changes in gene expression patterns. Although originally recognised as a suppressor of neuronal genes in non-neuronal cells, REST is now increasingly recognised for its role in the nervous system, where it governs long-term changes in gene expression in ageing, nerve injury and regeneration. In this study, researchers from China, UK and US discovered that deletion of REST in the cochlea results in a progressive hearing loss in mice. This effect was mediated by an upsurge in expression of one of the REST target genes, a voltage-gated potassium channel Kv7.4. The study reveals the essential functions of REST in the auditory system and provides new insight for potential future treatments of hearing disorders associated with the Kv7.4 channel.