AHS-L2-2. Expression Patterns of Integral Axon Initial Segment Proteins During Postnatal Cortical Development
Rachel Ali Rodriguez1
Dustin Hines, Ph.D.2
Faculty Mentor: Rochelle Hines, Ph.D.2
1College of Science, School of Life Sciences
2College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychology
A key site in the control of neuronal activity patterns is a specialized compartment known as the axon initial segment (AIS). The AIS is a highly organized neuronal compartment whose local density of proteins and morphology in part determine the firing characteristics of neurons. Recent studies have demonstrated that the AIS undergoes important modifications during development, but the molecular mechanisms that affect the development, composition, and morphology of the AIS remain obscure.
We are using western blotting to examine the developmental expression of proteins that are enriched in the AIS across a time course of cortical development, focusing on the time points of postnatal day 5, 10, 20 and adulthood. Using antibodies we are able to specifically detect bands of proteins separated by molecular weight. We analyze these bands to determine intensity of signals a proxy for expression level. We normalize the intensity measured for each protein band to the abundant cytoskeletal protein actin, which allows us to control for the amount of sample loaded. We have found that the AIS protein Neurofascin undergoes a shift in abundance of specific isoforms during postnatal development, presenting an interesting target for further study. Understanding of the developmental regulation of AIS proteins has implications for understanding the development of cortical firing patterns and ultimately for disorders of cortical development.
Amanjot Kailey | College of
Dr. Dustin Hines | College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Rochelle Hines | College of Liberal Arts
Jeffery Barker | College of Liberal Arts
Rachel Ali Rodriguez | College of Liberal Arts