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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2004 Aug;24(4):517-33.

Processing, distribution, and function of VGF, a neuronal and endocrine peptide precursor.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


1. The vgf gene encodes a neuropeptide precursor with a restricted pattern of expression that is limited to a subset of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems and to specific populations of endocrine cells in the adenohypophysis, adrenal medulla, gastrointestinal tract, and pancreas. In responsive neurons, vgf transcription is upregulated by neurotrophins. the basis for the original identification of VGF as nerve growth factor- (NGF) inducible in PC12 cells (A. Levi, J. D. Eldridge, and B. M. Paterson, Science 229:393-395, 1985). 2. In this review, we shall summarize data concerning the transcriptional regulation of vgf in vitro, the structural organization of the vgf promoter as well as the transcription factors which regulate its activity. 3. On the basis of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical studies, the in vivo tissue-specific expression of VGF during differentiation and in the adult will be summarized. 4. Parallel biochemical data will be reviewed, addressing the proteolytical processing of the pro-VGF precursor within the secretory compartment of neuroendocrine cells. 5. Finally, analysis of the phenotype of VGF knockout mice will be discussed, implying a nonredundant role of VGF products in the regulation of energy storage and expenditure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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