The neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 are ligands for the trkB tyrosine kinase receptor

Cell. 1991 May 31;65(5):895-903. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90396-g.


Neurotrophic factors are essential for neuronal survival and function. Recent data have demonstrated that the product of the tyrosine kinase trk proto-oncogene binds NGF and is a component of the high affinity NGF receptor. Analysis of the trkB gene product, gp145trkB, in NIH 3T3 cells indicates that this tyrosine kinase receptor is rapidly phosphorylated on tyrosine residues upon exposure to the NGF-related neurotrophic factors BDNF and NT-3. Furthermore, gp145trkB specifically binds BDNF and NT-3 in NIH 3T3 cells and in hippocampal cells, but does not bind NGF. Thus, the trk family of receptors are likely to be important signal transducers of NGF-related trophic signals in the formation and maintenance of neuronal circuits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression
  • Kinetics
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptor, trkB
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, trkB