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Selective activation and down-regulation of Trk receptors by neurotrophins in human neurons co-expressing TrkB and TrkC

Ateaque, Sarah, Merkouris, Spyros, Wyatt, Sean, Allen, Nicholas D., Xie, Jia, DiStefano, Peter S., Lindsay, Ronald M. and Barde, Yves-Alain 2022. Selective activation and down-regulation of Trk receptors by neurotrophins in human neurons co-expressing TrkB and TrkC. Journal of Neurochemistry 161 (6) , pp. 463-477. 10.1111/jnc.15617

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Abstract

In the central nervous system, most neurons co-express TrkB and TrkC, the tyrosine kinase receptors for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT3). As NT3 can also activate TrkB, it has been difficult to understand how NT3 and TrkC can exert unique roles in the assembly of neuronal circuits. Using neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cells expressing both TrkB and TrkC, we compared Trk activation by BDNF and NT3. To avoid the complications resulting from TrkB activation by NT3, we also generated neurons from stem cells engineered to lack TrkB. We found that NT3 activates TrkC at concentrations lower than those of BDNF needed to activate TrkB. Downstream of Trk activation, the changes in gene expression caused by TrkC activation were found to be similar to those resulting from TrkB activation by BDNF, including a number of genes involved in synaptic plasticity. At high NT3 concentrations, receptor selectivity was lost as a result of TrkB activation. In addition, TrkC was down-regulated, as was also the case with TrkB at high BDNF concentrations. By contrast, receptor selectivity as well as reactivation were preserved when neurons were exposed to low neurotrophin concentrations. These results indicate that the selectivity of NT3/TrkC signalling can be explained by the ability of NT3 to activate TrkC at concentrations lower than those needed to activate TrkB. They also suggest that in a therapeutic perspective, the dosage of Trk receptor agonists will need to be taken into account if prolonged receptor activation is to be achieved.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0022-3042
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 June 2022
Date of Acceptance: 18 April 2022
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 07:53
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/150612

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