Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 1998 Sep 10;8(18):1019-22.

GFR alpha-4 and the tyrosine kinase Ret form a functional receptor complex for persephin.

Author information

School of Biomedical Sciences, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.


Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), neurturin and persephin are structurally related, secreted proteins that are widely expressed in the nervous system and other tissues and promote the survival of a variety of neurons during development. GDNF and neurturin signal through multicomponent receptors that consist of the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase and one of two structurally related glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked ligand-binding subunits: GFR alpha-1 is the preferred ligand-binding subunit for GDNF, and GFR alpha-2 is the preferred ligand-binding subunit for neurturin. Two additional members of the GFR alpha family of GPI-linked proteins have recently been cloned: GFR alpha-3 and GFR alpha-4. We have shown that persephin binds efficiently only to GFR alpha-4, and labelled persephin is effectively displaced from cells expressing GFR alpha-4 by persephin but not by GDNF or neurturin. Using microinjection to introduce expression plasmids into cultured neurons, we have also shown that coexpression of Ret with GFR alpha-4, confers a marked survival response to persephin but not to GDNF or neurturin. These results demonstrate that GFR alpha-4 is the ligand-binding subunit for persephin and that persephin, like GDNF and neurturin, also requires Ret for signalling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center