Voelcker Academy
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Elizabeth Arriaga

Genetic dissection of neurodegeneration in DCTN1 mutations

Elizabeth Arriaga

Mentor: Dr. Benjamin Eaton

A component of the dynactin complex, Arp-1 (actin related protein 1), has been identified as being involved in synaptic growth and stability at the Drosophilia neuromuscular junction. Arp-1 is a component of the multiprotein dynactin complex and may function to bind proteins to the complex. Disruption of the dynactin complex in motorneurons results in lower motor disease in mice and synaptic retractions at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Observations have led to the hypothesis that impaired trophic signaling due to defective dynactin function in the motor neuron underlies the cause of neurodegeneration in familial and sporadic mutations in the human Glued/P150 gene (DCTN1).