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FEBS Lett. 1998 Mar 13;424(3):285-90.

Neurotrophin-7: a novel member of the neurotrophin family from the zebrafish.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


A novel member of the neurotrophin family, zebrafish neurotrophin-7 (zNT-7), was isolated from the zebrafish Danio rerio. The amino acid sequence of zNT-7 is more closely related to that of fish nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-6 (NT-6) than to that of any other neurotrophin. zNT-7 is, however, equally related to fish NGF and NT-6 (65% and 63% amino acid sequence identity, respectively) indicating that it represents a distinct neurotrophin sequence. zNT-7 contains a 15 amino acid residue insertion in a beta-turn region in the middle of the mature protein. Recombinant zNT-7 was able to bind to the human p75 neurotrophin receptor and to induce tyrosine phosphorylation of the rat TrkA receptor tyrosine kinase, albeit less efficiently than rat NGF. zNT-7 did not interact with rat TrkB or TrkC, indicating a similar receptor specificity as NGF. We propose that a diversification of the NGF subfamily in the neurotrophin evolutionary tree occurred during the evolution of teleost fishes which resulted in the appearance of several additional members, such as zNT-7 and NT-6, structurally and functionally related to NGF.

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