Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences


AMPA receptors are post-synaptic receptors that play a role in thinking and learning. Although their function is understood, the trafficking and regulation of AMPA receptors in neurons remains unclear. The goal of my research was to determine whether Dynactin Subunit 2 (Dctn2) affects the trafficking of AMPA receptors through the regulation of the AMPA receptor subunit, GluR2. To accomplish this, Dctn2 was amplified via PCR, ligated into the mammalian expression vector pcDNA 3.1, and transfected into Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK) 293 cells, NT2 cells and neurons. Immunostainings and Co-immunoprecipitations were performed on the transfected cells to determine protein localization and if Dctn2 associates with GluR2. Unfortunately, the immunostainings and co-immunoprecipitation assays did not yield definitive results, thereby preventing a clear understanding of the role of Dctn2 in AMPA receptor trafficking.