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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 May;3(5):383-94.

The GDNF family: signalling, biological functions and therapeutic value.

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  • 1Programme of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of Biotechnology, P.O. Box 56, Viikki Biocenter, FIN-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Members of the nerve growth factor (NGF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) families comprising neurotrophins and GDNF-family ligands (GFLs), respectively are crucial for the development and maintenance of distinct sets of central and peripheral neurons. Knockout studies in the mouse have revealed that members of these two families might collaborate or act sequentially in a given neuron. Although neurotrophins and GFLs activate common intracellular signalling pathways through their receptor tyrosine kinases, several clear differences exist between these families of trophic factors.

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