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Mol Cell. 2005 Oct 28;20(2):301-12.

Lysine 63 polyubiquitination of the nerve growth factor receptor TrkA directs internalization and signaling.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Program in Cellular and Molecular Biosciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) binding to p75(NTR) influences TrkA signaling, yet the molecular mechanism is unknown. We observe that NGF stimulates TrkA polyubiquitination, which was attenuated in p75(-/-) mouse brain. TrkA is a substrate of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), and expression of K63R mutant ubiquitin or an absence of TRAF6 abrogated TrkA polyubiquitination and internalization. NGF stimulated formation of a TrkA/p75(NTR) complex through the p62 scaffold, recruiting the E3/TRAF6 and E2/UbcH7. Peptide targeted to the TRAF6 binding site present in p62 blocked interaction with TRAF6 and inhibited ubiquitination of TrkA, signaling, internalization, and NGF-dependent neurite outgrowth. Mutation of K485 to R blocked TRAF6 and NGF-dependent polyubiquitination of TrkA, resulting in retention of the receptor on the membrane and an absence in activation of specific signaling pathways. These findings reveal that polyubiquitination serves as a common platform for the control of receptor internalization and signaling.

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