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Front Cell Neurosci. 2013 Feb 13;7:4. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00004. eCollection 2013.

ErbB1-4-dependent EGF/neuregulin signals and their cross talk in the central nervous system: pathological implications in schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.

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Division of Molecular Neurobiology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University Niigata, Japan.


Ligands for ErbB1-4 receptor tyrosine kinases, such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) and neuregulins, regulate brain development and function. Thus, abnormalities in their signaling are implicated in the etiology or pathology of schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. Among the ErbB receptors, ErbB1, and ErbB4 are expressed in dopamine and GABA neurons, while ErbB1, 2, and/or 3 are mainly present in oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and their precursors. Thus, deficits in ErbB signaling might contribute to the neurological and psychiatric diseases stemming from these cell types. By incorporating the latest cancer molecular biology as well as our recent progress, we discuss signal cross talk between the ErbB1-4 subunits and their neurobiological functions in each cell type. The potential contribution of virus-derived cytokines (virokines) that mimic EGF and neuregulin-1 in brain diseases are also discussed.


ErbB1-4; GABA; Parkinson's disease; dopamine; schizophrenia; virokine

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