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Neuron. 1990 Apr;4(4):487-92.

Binding of brain-derived neurotrophic factor to the nerve growth factor receptor.

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Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Department of Neurochemistry, Martinsried, Federal Republic of Germany.


The neurotrophic proteins BDNF and NGF are related in their primary structures, and both have high- and low-affinity receptors on their responsive neurons. In this study, we investigate the extent to which these receptors can discriminate between BDNF and NGF. We found that a 1000-fold excess of the heterologous ligand is needed to reduce binding to the high-affinity receptor by 50%, but that the same concentrations of BDNF and NGF similarly reduce the binding of either ligand to the low-affinity receptor. Results obtained with cells transfected with the low-affinity NGF receptor gene indicate that these cells bind BDNF, in addition to NGF, whereas cells before transfection do not. These data indicate that the low-affinity NGF receptor is also a low-affinity BDNF receptor and that whatever is conferring high-affinity binding and biological response also considerably reinforces the ability of the low-affinity receptor to discriminate between NGF and BDNF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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