Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Neurosci. 1992 Sep;15(9):323-31.

The nerve growth factor family of receptors.

Author information

  • 1Dept of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5401.


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 differentiation of the PC12 cell line, and cell growth and transformation in fibroblast cells. On the other hand, expression of p75NGFR in several types of cells displaying p140trkA induces a component of higher affinity NGF binding not seen in its absence. Since it is unlikely that p75NGFR and p140trkA interact at the level of the receptors, the crosstalk between receptors probably occurs through their signal transduction mechanisms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center