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Prog Brain Res. 2004;146:111-26.

NGF deprivation-induced gene expression: after ten years, where do we stand?

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) is required for the survival of developing sympathetic and sensory neurons. In the absence of NGF, these neurons undergo protein synthesis-dependent apoptosis. Ten years have gone by since the first reports of specific genes being upregulated during NGF deprivation-induced cell death. Over the last decade, a few additional genes (DP5, Bim, SM-20) have been added to a list that began with cyclin D1 and c-jun. In this chapter, we discuss the evidence that these genes act as regulators of neuronal cell death. We also suggest a hypothesis for how one gene, SM-20, may function to suppress a self-protection mechanism in NGF-deprived neurons.

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