Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department


Reader 1

Felix Schweizer

Reader 2

Melissa Coleman

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Rights Information

© 2013 LeeAnn N. Louie


The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) depends on three enzymes called E1, E2, and E3 to ubiquitinate proteins and several isopeptidases to de-ubiquitinate them. Ubiquitination serves as a post-translational modification that either tags proteins for degradation by the proteasome or serves to modulate their function. This dynamic system plays a role in synaptic plasticity and dysfunction of the UPS is associated a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, three inhibitors the UPS, ziram, clasto-lactacystin β-lactone (lactacystin) and G5 were employed to illuminate involvement of the UPS in long-term and short term plasticity in area CA1 of rat hippocampal slices. Ziram, lactacystin and G5 inhibits the E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme, the proteasome and isopeptidases, respectively. It was found that UPS inhibition enhanced long-term plasticity, by specifically increasing the magnitude of long-term depression (LTD) and altered short term plasticity, measured with paired pulse facilitation (PPF), to varying degrees. These findings establish that the UPS may play a regulatory role in LTD and PPF, and the changes in PPF further indicate that the UPS may be acting presynaptically. Overall, the results suggest ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated proteolysis are important in both long-term and short-term plasticity.

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