A new RO1 grant, Cochlear Detoxification System was awarded by the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Shinichi Someya, a faculty member of the Biology of Aging Division.
Living organisms are continuously exposed to and must defend against naturally occurring toxins and non-nutrient foreign chemicals (1-3). The glutathione transferase (GST) detoxification system converts a non-polar toxic compound into a more water-soluble and less toxic form by conjugating the toxic compound to reduced glutathione by a variety of GST enzymes. The overall goal of our research proposal is to provide new basic knowledge of the molecular basis for the cochlear detoxification system and its role in the elimination of non-nutrient foreign chemicals and naturally occurring toxins throughout the lifespan. Understanding the mechanism of action of cochlear detoxification may define novel therapeutic approaches for human hearing loss induced by drugs, chemicals, or naturally occurring toxins.