The protein responsible for hearing and balance in vertebrates is transmembrane channel-like protein (TMC) 1. The TMC1 protein forms a sound- and motion-activated pore in the inner ear of vertebrates. This pore helps in the conversion of sound and head movement into electrical nerve signals and sends it to the hearing and balance center of the brain. This nerve signaling is then encoded and enables us to hear and balance our posture.
Thus, the TMC1 protein helps in the mechanosensory transduction of sound and maintaining balance. The TMC1 protein was discovered in 2002.