San Jose State Assistant Professor Katherine Wilkinson and two students, Dasha Zaytseva and Connor Criddle, are credited authors of a new article in the journal “Nature Neuroscience” with colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute and Columbia University.
The biology faculty researchers and student scientists discovered a protein in mice that plays a part in proprioception – a sense that allows humans and animals to tell where their body parts are relative to each other and the environment. The researchers discovered that mice that lack Piezo2 were uncoordinated and showed abnormal limb positions compared to mice with the protein. Researchers have been searching for decades for a sensor protein in nerve endings that could be responsible for the sense.
Read the journal article abstract and see figures/videos.