Control of crystal size and lattice formation by starmaker in otolith biomineratization

Christian Söllner, Manfred Burghammer, Elisabeth Busch-Nentwich, Jürgen Berger, Heinz Schwarz, Christian Riekel, Teresa Nicolson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


The stone-like otoliths from the ears of teleost fishes are involved in balance and hearing and consist of calcium carbonate crystallites embedded in a protein framework. We report that a previously unknown gene, starmaker, is required in zebrafish for otolith morphogenesis. Reduction of starmaker activity by injection of modified antisense oligonucleotides causes a change in the crystal lattice structure and thus a change in otolith morphology. The expression pattern of starmaker, along with the presence of the protein on the growing otolith, suggest that the expression levels of starmaker control the shape of the otoliths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
Issue number5643
StatePublished - Oct 10 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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