Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Stephanie Otto-Hitt

Second Advisor

Marie Suthers

Third Advisor

Jennifer Glowienka

Abstract

Γ-amino-3-hydroxy-5methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs) are protein complexes involved in excitatory neurotransmission. AMPARs are tetrameric structures consisting of the pairings of GluA1, GluA2, GluA3, and GluA4 subunits. Dctn2 and Dync1li1 were found to interact with GluA2 in an immunoprecipitation screen that was performed on postnatal day 14 rat brains. DNC-2 and DLI-1 were identified as the C. elegans homologs of Dctn2 and Dync1li1, respectively, and are components of motor proteins that transport cargo throughout the cell. The goal of this project was to determine whether knocking down DNC-2 and DLI-1 by RNAi affects AMPA Receptor-mediated behaviors, including mechanosensation and chemosensation, in C. elegans. Worms with the gene knockdowns were not successfully produced but mechanosensation and chemosensation assays were performed on GLR-2 knockout (KO) C. elegans. The GluA2 KO worms demonstrated a lowered ability to sense and respond to both mechanical and chemical stimuli.

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