Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


7 cloned cDNAs were selected for analysis due to the enrichment of their corresponding RNAs in the canary HAT, a telencephalic region immediately surrounding and including song nucleus HVC. The goal of the analysis was to determine what kind of protein is encoded by each RNA, whether the RNA distinguishes sites of defined neural plasticity (i.e., the telencephalic song control nuclei or the neurogenic ventricular zone), and whether the RNA's abundance changes at times when anatomical and functional changes are known to occur in these regions. Sequence analysis demonstrated that 4 of these clones encode novel proteins with suggestive or recognizable. Functional domains: HAT-2 contains regions of homology to a regulatory domain in Protein Kinase C (PKC) and to a GTPase activating domain in the bcroncogene; HAT-S encodes a protein kinase; HAT-14 contains a site present in the neural growth-associated protein GAP43 responsible for PKC-regulated calmodulin binding, and HAT- 3 contains an 11 amino acid repeated sequence suggestive of a function in membrane recognition or stabilization. Of these, all but HAT-S are brain-specific, all are expressed fairly widely throughout the telencephalon (as determined by in situ hybridization), and all show differential regulation in at least one of the telencephalic song control nuclei. Expression of HAT-3 RNA appears to increase in several song control nuclei (especially L-MAN) at times when the song circuit is first forming, and antibodies generated against the predicted HAT-3 peptide sequence suggest the protein is localized in neuritic processes and synapses. These results show the song nuclei are distinguished from surrounding brain regions by their patterns of gene expression and suggest that complex signal transduction mechanisms are characteristic of the telencephalon.