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Neurotrophin receptors TrkA and TrkC cause neuronal death whereas TrkB does not

Nikoletopoulou, Vassiliki, Lickert, Heiko, Frade, José Maria, Rencurel, Chantal, Giallonardo, Patrizia, Zhang, Lixin, Bibel, Miriam and Barde, Yves-Alain 2010. Neurotrophin receptors TrkA and TrkC cause neuronal death whereas TrkB does not. Nature 467 (7311) , pp. 59-63. 10.1038/nature09336

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Neurons of the peripheral nervous system have long been known to require survival factors to prevent their death during development. But why they selectively become dependent on secretory molecules has remained a mystery, as is the observation that in the central nervous system, most neurons do not show this dependency. Using engineered embryonic stem cells, we show here that the neurotrophin receptors TrkA and TrkC (tropomyosin receptor kinase A and C, also known as Ntrk1 and Ntrk3, respectively) instruct developing neurons to die, both in vitro and in vivo. By contrast, TrkB (also known as Ntrk2), a closely related receptor primarily expressed in the central nervous system, does not. These results indicate that TrkA and TrkC behave as dependence receptors, explaining why developing sympathetic and sensory neurons become trophic-factor-dependent for survival. We suggest that the expansion of the Trk gene family that accompanied the segregation of the peripheral from the central nervous system generated a novel mechanism of cell number control.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Neuroscience; Stem cells; Developmental biology; Molecular biology
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0028-0836
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:21

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