Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Stefanie Otto-Hitt

Second Advisor

Daniel Gretch

Third Advisor

Kevin Stewart

Abstract

The interactions between post-synaptic receptors and pre-synaptic molecules are responsible for coordinating numerous human activities such as thought, behavior, memory, learning and homeostasis. Important excitatory post-synaptic receptors that alter strength of connections between pre- and post-synaptic neurons are α-Amino-3-hydroxy- 5-Methylisoxazole-4-Propanoic Acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs). Understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern AMPAR trafficking to synapses and effects on synaptic plasticity are critical to understanding disease and normal neurological processes. The purpose of this research was to identify GluR2-interacting proteins that play important roles in AMPAR trafficking and to characterize the functional significance of AMPARs. The transmembrane protein Olfactomedin 1 (Olfm1) isoform 1, also called Noelin 1, was studied to determine the role that it plays in AMPAR trafficking at synapses. Unfortunately, cloning complications prevented a definitive conclusion on the nature of Olfm1’s role in AMPAR trafficking.

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