November 2012

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


Nearly 2 of every 1,000 children have congenital deafness. To date, more than more 60 genetic loci have been identified that contribute to nonsyndromic forms of inherited deafness. In order to understand how these genes affect hearing and balance, the Nicolson laboratory in collaboration with a large Tübingen Consortium has identified several genes important for the function of the hair cell, the sensory detector of the auditory, vestibular and lateral-line organ systems in mutagenized zebrafish. This thesis characterizes a new player, Rabconnectinα, and its previously unknown contribution to hearing and synaptic vesicle acidification in hair cells. Chapter 1 gives a background of the literature of hearing with regard to operation of the hair cell and the use of a zebrafish as a genetic model of deafness. Chapter 2 follows the experimental set-up of a new testing procedure for discriminating hearing deficits in zebrafish and presents the role of Rabconnectinα in zebrafish hearing. Chap




Neuroscience Graduate Program


School of Medicine



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