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J Biol Chem. 1997 Nov 28;272(48):30334-9.

Insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and IRS-2 are tyrosine-phosphorylated and associated with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in response to brain-derived neurotrophic factor in cultured cerebral cortical neurons.

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Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, 3-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565, Japan.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophins, promotes differentiation and survival of various types of neurons in the central nervous system. BDNF binds to and activates the tyrosine kinase receptor, TrkB, initiating intracellular signaling and exerting its effects. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K), which has been implicated in promotion of neuronal survival by neurotrophic factors, is a component in the signaling pathway of BDNF. We examined how BDNF activates PI3-K in cultured cerebral cortical neurons. We found that insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and -2 are involved in the BDNF signaling pathway that activates PI3-K. IRS-1 and -2 were tyrosine-phosphorylated and bound to PI3-K in response to BDNF. This BDNF-stimulated signaling via IRS-1 and -2 was inhibited by K-252a, an inhibitor of Trk tyrosine kinase. In addition, signaling via IRS-1 and -2 was markedly sustained as well as the BDNF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of TrkB. On the other hand, we observed no association of PI3-K with TrkB in response to BDNF. These results indicate that the activation of TrkB by BDNF induces the activation of PI3-K via IRS-1 and -2 rather than by a direct interaction of TrkB with PI3-K in cultured cortical neurons.

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