PMID: 1382329Sep 1, 1992

The nerve growth factor family of receptors

Trends in Neurosciences
S O Meakin, E M Shooter


The neurotrophins, of which nerve growth factor (NGF) is the best known example, support the survival and differentiation of chick embryo sensory neurons at extremely low concentrations, 10(-12) M or less. These same neurons display two different classes of neurotrophin receptors with dissociation constants of 10(-11) M and 10(-9) M, respectively, implying that only low occupancy of the higher affinity receptor is required to mediate the biological actions of the neurotrophins. Two structurally unrelated receptors have now been characterized for NGF, and one of them, p75NGFR, serves as a receptor for all the known neurotrophins. This is the receptor with a dissociation constant of 10(-9) M. The second NGF receptor is a member of the trk family of tyrosine kinase receptors, p140trkA. Other members, p145trkB and p145trkC, are receptors for brain-derived neurtrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), respectively, when assayed in fibroblasts. The specificity of neurotrophin binding to these receptors appears to be much higher in neurons than in the non-neuronal cells. The receptor p140trkA has many of the properties of the higher affinity class of NGF receptors, and is able to mediate survival and d...Continue Reading


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Specimen Type - Fibroblasts
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