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J Cell Biol. 2006 Apr 24;173(2):291-9.

A kinase-deficient TrkC receptor isoform activates Arf6-Rac1 signaling through the scaffold protein tamalin.

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Neural Development Group, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Neurotrophins play an essential role in mammalian development. Most of their functions have been attributed to activation of the kinase-active Trk receptors and the p75 neurotrophin receptor. Truncated Trk receptor isoforms lacking the kinase domain are abundantly expressed during development and in the adult; however, their function and signaling capacity is largely unknown. We show that the neurotrophin-3 (NT3) TrkCT1-truncated receptor binds to the scaffold protein tamalin in a ligand-dependent manner. Moreover, NT3 initiation of this complex leads to activation of the Rac1 GTPase through adenosine diphosphate-ribosylation factor 6 (Arf6). At the cellular level, NT3 binding to TrkCT1-tamalin induces Arf6 translocation to the membrane, which in turn causes membrane ruffling and the formation of cellular protrusions. Thus, our data identify a new signaling pathway elicited by the kinase-deficient TrkCT1 receptor. Moreover, we establish NT3 as an upstream regulator of Arf6.

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