Prestin, a new type of motor protein

Peter Dallos*, Bernd Fakler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

245 Scopus citations


Prestin, a transmembrane protein found in the outer hair cells of the cochlea, represents a new type of molecular motor, which is likely to be of great interest to molecular cell biologists. In contrast to enzymatic-activity-based motors, prestin is a direct voltage-to-force converter, which uses cytoplasmic anions as extrinsic voltage sensors and can operate at microsecond rates. As prestin mediates changes in outer hair cell length in response to membrane potential variations, it might be responsible for sound amplification in the mammalian hearing organ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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