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TrkC

Neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 3
PDB rendering based on 1wwc.
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: RCSB
Identifiers
2.7.10.1
RNA expression pattern

NT-3 growth factor receptor also known as neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 3 or TrkC tyrosine kinase or Trk-C receptor is a protein that in humans is encoded by the NTRK3 gene.[1]

TrkC is the high affinity catalytic receptor for the neurotrophin NT-3 (neurotrophin-3). As such, TrkC mediates the multiple effects of this neurotrophic factor, which includes neuronal differentiation and survival.

The TrkC receptor is part of the large family of receptor tyrosine kinases. A "tyrosine kinase" is an enzyme which is capable of adding a phosphate group to the certain tyrosines on target proteins, or "substrates". A receptor tyrosine kinase is a "tyrosine kinase" which is located at the cellular membrane, and is activated by binding of a ligand via its extracellular domain. Other example of tyrosine kinase receptors include the insulin receptor, the IGF-1 receptor, the MuSK protein receptor, the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (or VEGF) receptor, etc. The "substrate" proteins which are phosphorylated by TrkC include PI3 kinase.

Family Members

TrkC is part of a sub-family of protein kinases which includes TrkA and TrkB. Also, there are other neurotrophic factors structurally related to NT-3: NGF (for Nerve Growth Factor), BDNF (for Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and NT-4 (for Neurotrophin-4). While TrkB mediates the effects of BDNF, NT-4 and NT-3, TrkA is bound and thereby activated only by NGF. Further, TrkC binds and is activated only by NT-3.

TrkB binds BDNF and NT-4 more strongly than it binds NT-3. TrkC binds NT-3 more strongly than TrkB does.

The LNGFR

There is one other NT-3 receptor family besides the Trks (TrkC & TrkB), called the "LNGFR" (for "low affinity nerve growth factor receptor"). As opposed to TrkC, the LNGFR plays a somewhat less clear role in NT-3 biology. Some researchers have shown the LNGFR binds and serves as a "sink" for neurotrophins. Cells which express both the LNGFR and the Trk receptors might therefore have a greater activity - since they have a higher "microconcentration" of the neurotrophin. It has also been shown, however, that the LNGFR may signal a cell to die via apoptosis - so therefore cells expressing the LNGFR in the absence of Trk receptors may die rather than live in the presence of a neurotrophin.

References

Further reading


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