Abstract/Details

Formation and plasticity of glutamatergic synapses: Characterization of the roles of beta-amyloid precursor protein, scribble, and wingless at the <i>Drosophila</i> neuromuscular junction


2004 2004

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Abstract (summary)

The flow of information through neuronal circuits relies on the ability of neurons to form synaptic connections with specific temporal and spatial properties. These properties are not static but have the ability to change, allowing synaptic connections to be strengthened or weakened. It is this plastic nature of synapses that is central to higher order processes such as learning and memory. However, major gaps remain in our understanding of this process. Throughout my dissertation work I have examined mechanisms of a form of structural synaptic plasticity by analyzing the roles of a variety of proteins that we have found serve to regulate the formation and maintenance of glutamatergic synapses at the Drosophila NMJ. These proteins include APPL, the Drosophila homolog of Alzheimer's disease-associated β-Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), the tumor suppressor protein Scribble (Scrib), the secreted signaling molecule Wingless (Wg), and the cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin II (FasII). In this work, in collaboration with members of the labs of Dr. Vivian Budnik, Dr. Kalpana White, and Dr. Susan Cumberledge, I have demonstrated that Wingless (Wg) provides a secreted signal that is required to initiate the formation of pre- and postsynaptic structures. Further, I have also demonstrated that once synapse formation is initiated, presumably by Wg signaling, APPL regulates synaptic bouton proliferation. This process also involves signaling by FasII, a protein required for synapse maintenance, and growth. Moreover, I have also demonstrated that Scrib is a scaffolding protein that plays a key role at these synapses in influencing neurotransmitter release.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Neurology;
Molecular biology;
Cellular biology
Classification
0317: Neurology
0307: Molecular biology
0379: Cellular biology
Identifier / keyword
Biological sciences; Amyloid precursor protein-beta; Glutamatergic; Neuromuscular junction; scribble; wingless
Title
Formation and plasticity of glutamatergic synapses: Characterization of the roles of beta-amyloid precursor protein, scribble, and wingless at the <i>Drosophila</i> neuromuscular junction
Author
Packard, Mary C.
Number of pages
178
Publication year
2004
Degree date
2004
School code
0118
Source
DAI-B 65/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Advisor
Budnik, Vivian
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3136762
ProQuest document ID
305176608
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305176608
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