The Role of Class 4 Semaphorins and PlexinB Receptors in Synapse Formation

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dc.contributor.advisor Paradis, Suzanne Goldblatt, Dena 2017-05-10T15:46:07Z 2017-05-10T15:46:07Z 2017
dc.description.abstract Proper cell-to-cell communication and circuit function in the brain depends on the establishment of neuronal connections, or synapses. Since the mammalian brain is composed of both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic connections, a specific excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance is required for proper nervous system function. Disruptions to this E/I balance are associated with diseases such as epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia. Previously, the Paradis lab has shown that the molecule Semaphorin4D (Sema4D) is required for GABAergic synapse formation and signals through the PlexinB1 receptor in hippocampal rat neurons (Kuzirian, Moore et al. 2013). However, the role of the PlexinB1 and PlexinB2 receptors in glutamatergic synapse formation is unknown, as well as the identity of the Semaphorin ligand(s) which signal through PlexinB2 to mediate synapse formation. First, our work shows that PlexinB2, but not PlexinB1, is required for proper GABAergic synapse formation, while neither receptor is required for glutamatergic synapse formation. Next, I specifically demonstrate that the extracellular domain of Sema4C, Sema4D, and Sema4G can bind and signal through PlexinB2 in COS-7 cells to mediate collapse. In this context, I investigate the sufficiency of Sema4C and Sema4G to promote GABAergic synapse formation in hippocampal neurons. Finally, I demonstrate that Sema4A is sufficient to promote both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse formation. Future experiments will aim to further elucidate the role of Sema4C and Sema4G in synapse formation as well as the signaling mechanisms by which Sema4A promotes glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse formation.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Dena Goldblatt 2017
dc.title The Role of Class 4 Semaphorins and PlexinB Receptors in Synapse Formation
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience BS Bachelors Neuroscience Brandeis University, College of Arts and Sciences

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