Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Apr 25;103(17):6735-40. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Activity-dependent release of precursor nerve growth factor, conversion to mature nerve growth factor, and its degradation by a protease cascade.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y6.


In this report, we provide direct demonstration that the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF) is released in the extracellular space in an activity-dependent manner in its precursor form (proNGF) and that it is in this compartment that its maturation and degradation takes place because of the coordinated release and the action of proenzymes and enzyme regulators. This converting protease cascade and its endogenous regulators (including tissue plasminogen activator, plasminogen, neuroserpin, precursor matrix metalloproteinase 9, and tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase 1) are colocalized in neurons of the cerebral cortex and released upon neuronal stimulation. We also provide evidence that this mechanism operates in in vivo conditions, as the CNS application of inhibitors of converting and degrading enzymes lead to dramatic alterations in the tissue levels of either precursor NGF or mature NGF. Pathological alterations of this cascade in the CNS might cause or contribute to a lack of proper neuronal trophic support in conditions such as cerebral ischemia, seizure and Alzheimer's disease or, conversely, to excessive local production of neurotrophins as reported in inflammatory arthritis pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center