This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of receptor- mediated signaling by the neurotrophins NGF, BDNF, NT3, and NT4/5. Two distinct receptor types have been distinguished, Trks and p75. The Trks are receptor tyrosine kinases that utilize a complex set of substrates and adapter proteins to activate defined secondary signaling cascades required for neurotrophin-promoted neuronal differentiation, plasticity, and survival. A specialized aspect of Trk/neurotrophin action in neurons is the requirement for retrograde signaling from the distal periphery to the cell body. p75 is a universal receptor for neurotrophins that is a member of the TNF receptor/Fas/CD40 superfamily, p75 appears to modify Trk signaling when the two receptor types are coexpressed. When expressed in the absence of Trks, p75 mediates responses to neurotrophins including promotion of apoptotic death. The mechanisms of p75 receptor signaling remain to be fully understood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology