Biology Research

Research Summary

Molecular mechanisms restricting regeneration of hearing and balance sensory epithelia in mammals

In vertebrates, the senses of hearing and balance rely on tiny patches of sensory epithelia consisting of mechanosensory hair cells intercalated by non-sensory supporting cells. While hair cells are solely responsible for conversion of mechanical stimuli into neural impulses, supporting cells can act as hair cell progenitors and regenerate hair cells after injury in all vertebrates except mammals. Mammalian supporting cells retain a limited ability to reenter cell cycle, proliferate and give rise to new hair cells during late embryonic developmental stages. However, immediately after birth, mammalian supporting cells exhibit a sharp decline in proliferative capacity. This deficiency is a main reason why humans are unable to restore hearing or balance function after hair cell death, which can be triggered by insults such as exposure to loud noise, ototoxic cancer drugs and common aminoglycoside antibiotics. We aim to uncover the molecular mechanisms that restrict the proliferative capacity of supporting cells in mammals, with the hope to identify and characterize new drug targets that promote regeneration of the inner ear sensory epithelium.

Anna Andreeva                                                          Email:


Recent publications

Research articles

  1. Andreeva A, Bekkhozhin Z, Omertassova N, Baizhumanov T, Yeltay G, Akhmetali M, Toibazar D, Utepbergenov D. The apparent deglycase activity of DJ-1 results from the conversion of free methylglyoxal present in fast equilibrium with hemithioacetals and hemiaminals. J Biol Chem. 2019 Dec 6;294(49):18863-18872. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.011237.

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Lab Members

Principal investigator

Anna Andreeva           Assistant Professor Scopus ID 57197423764

Undergraduate Trainees

Daulet Toibazar

Gaziza Yeltay

Inzhu Zholymbetova

Aray Adylkhan

Former trainies:

Mels Akhmetali

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