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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2010 Oct;45(2):108-20. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2010.05.015. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

p75NTR is an obligate signaling receptor required for cues that cause sympathetic neuron growth cone collapse.

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Cell Biology Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.


The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) is required for the activity of growth cone collapsing factors such as Nogo, MAG, OMgP, and ephrin A. Specifically, p75NTR associates with the Nogo receptor and GPI-linked ephrin A, and unliganded p75NTR mediates the biological effects of those proteins. Here we assess the requirement for p75NTR for the growth cone collapsing responses of semaphorins (Sema) 3A and 3F and ephrin B2 in sympathetic neurons. We show that the ability of Sema 3s or ephrin B2 to collapse growth cones is suppressed in p75NTR-/- sympathetic neurons. Ectopic expression of p75NTR restores the collapsing activity of Sema 3 in p75NTR-/- neurons. Moreover, p75NTR must be bound to its neurotrophin ligands to participate in Sema 3-mediated collapse. Ligand-bound p75NTR participates in Sema 3 and ephrin B2-mediated collapse via the Rho signaling pathway, since inhibition of Rho signaling is sufficient to suppress the effects of Sema 3s and ephrin B2 in p75NTR+/+ but not p75NTR-/- neurons. Our data suggest that in addition to its role as a co-receptor, p75NTR may provide an obligate parallel neurotrophin-activated inhibitory pathway that broadly sensitizes neurons to inhibitory cues.

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