The trk proto-oncogene product: a signal transducing receptor for nerve growth factor

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Science  26 Apr 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5005, pp. 554-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.1850549


The trk proto-oncogene encodes a 140-kilodalton, membrane-spanning protein tyrosine kinase (p140prototrk) that is expressed only in neural tissues. Nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulates phosphorylation of p140prototrk in neural cell lines and in embryonic dorsal root ganglia. Affinity cross-linking and equilibrium binding experiments with 125I-labeled NGF indicate that p140prototrk binds NGF specifically in cultured cells with a dissociation constant of 10(-9) molar. The identification of p140prototrk as an NGF receptor indicates that this protein participates in the primary signal transduction mechanism of NGF.

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