Although the otolithic membrane is thought to play an important role in the stimulation of vestibular hair cells, little is known about its chemical composition. We analyzed proteins of the gelatinous layer of this structure from the trout saccule, a probable organ of hearing in fish, by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A relatively small number of major proteins were detected in homogenates of the 'membrane' layer, with apparent molecular weights ranging from 35 to >300 kDa. Six bands, with molecular weights of 35, 43, 65, 94, 100, and 160 kDa, were particularly prominent. Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining indicated that the 43, 94, 100, and 160 kDa bands were glycoproteins. Lectin binding on nitrocellulose blots confirmed the PAS results, and further suggested that the 35 and 65 kDa bands may be glycoproteins. Incubation of blots with human anti-collagen type II antibodies suggested that the 94 kDa band was a component of collagen type II or a related protein.
- Lectin binding
- Otolithic membrane
- Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis