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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Oct;12(5):542-9.

Lipid rafts and the control of neurotrophic factor signaling in the nervous system: variations on a theme.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Retzius väg 8, A2:2, Stockholm, Sweden. gustavo@cajal.mbb.ki.se


Lipid rafts are specialized, liquid-ordered subdomains of the plasma membrane. Through their ability to promote specific compartmentalization of lipids and membrane proteins, lipid rafts have emerged as membrane platforms specialized for signal transduction. In recent years, signaling by neurotrophic factors and their receptors has been shown to depend upon the integrity and function of lipid rafts and associated components. It has also been shown that these microdomains play critical roles in selective axon-dendritic sorting and the proteolytic processing of several neurotrophic ligands and receptors in neuronal cells. The available evidence supports an important role for lipid rafts in the initiation, propagation and maintenance of signal transduction events triggered by different neurotrophic factors and their receptors in the nervous system.

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