Trk (tropomyosin-related kinase or neurotrophin) receptors are single transmembrane catalytic receptors with intracellular tyrosine kinase activity. Trk receptors are coupled to the Ras, Cdc42/Rac/RhoG, MAPK, PI3K and PLCγ signaling pathways. There are four members of the Trk family: TrkA, TrkB, TrkC and a related p75NTR receptor. p75NTR lacks tyrosine kinase activity and signals via NF-κB activation.
Each family member binds different neurotrophins with varying affinities. TrkA potently binds nerve growth factor (NGF) and is involved in differentiation and survival of neurons, as well as in control of gene expression of enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis. TrkB has highest affinity for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and is involved in neuronal plasticity, longterm potentiation and apoptosis of CNS neurons. TrkC is activated by neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and is found on proprioceptive sensory neurons. p75NTR binds neurotrophin precursors with high affinity and retains low affinity to the mature cleaved forms.
TrkA was originally identified as an oncogene, as it is commonly mutated in cancers, particularly colon and thyroid carcinomas.
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Literature for Trk Receptors
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