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Home » Archive » 2014

TDK conference 2014

Investigating the role of the scaffold protein Caskin in hearing
Sahin-Tóth Judit - year 5
SU Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, SzIU Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Anatomy and Histology
Supervisors: Dr. Tibor Zelles, Dr. Veronika Jancsik

Abstract:

Caskin is a multi-domain adaptor protein that binds to CASK (calcium/calmodulin-(CaM)-dependent serine kinase), a scaffold protein enriched in the mammalian nervous system, particularly in synaptic area. Caskin has two closely related isoforms (Caskin 1 and 2) which are expressed both pre- and postsynaptically. Presumably they are playing a significant role in the nervous system, but their precise function is highly unexplored.

Our collaborating partners have already shown the significance of caskin in dendritic spine formation and also in different cognitive tests (personal communication). A recent work has proven its presence in the retina, including the ribbon synapses (Anjum et al., 2014, Mol Cell Neurosci, 62:19). Inner and outer hair cells in the hearing organ making contact with the primary auditory neurons, also by means of ribbon synapses (Mburu et al., 2006, PNAS, 103:10973), was shown to express CASK.

The aim of my student work was to decipher the function of caskin in hearing. We performed auditory brainstem response measurements (ABR; objective audiometry; n = 20-20) on 37-42 days old anesthetized Caskin1,2 knock-out (KO) mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates to investigate the role of Caskin in hearing. This evoked potential method tests the function of the inner ear and the auditory pathway in the cranial nerve VIII and the brainstem. Our results showed no difference in auditory thresholds between the KO and WT mice at either low or high frequencies (4 – 65 kHz). In the next step we will analyze individual waves of the ABR records (characterizing the individual synaptic transmissions) in order to explore more subtle differences. The age dependence of caskin function was also suggested, therefore we are planning to perform the measurements in older mice.



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