Expression of functional nerve growth factor receptors after gene transfer

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Science  20 Jan 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4889, pp. 373-375
DOI: 10.1126/science.2536190


Nerve growth factor (NGF) interacts with both high affinity (Kd = 10(-10)-10(-11)M) and low affinity (Kd = 10(-8)-10(-9)M) receptors; the binding of NGF to the high affinity receptor is correlated with biological actions of NGF. To determine whether a single NGF binding protein is common to both forms of the receptor, a full-length receptor cDNA was introduced in the NR18 cell line, an NGF receptor-deficient variant of the PC12 pheochromocytoma cell line. The transformant displayed (i) both high and low affinity receptors detectable by receptor binding; (ii) an affinity cross-linking pattern with 125I-labeled NGF similar to that of the parent PC12 cell line; and (iii) biological responsiveness to NGF as assayed by induction of c-fos transcription. These findings support the hypothesis that a single binding protein is common to both forms of the NGF receptor and suggest that an additional protein is required to produce the high affinity form of the NGF receptor.