Released form of CNTF receptor alpha component as a soluble mediator of CNTF responses

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  19 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5102, pp. 1736-1739
DOI: 10.1126/science.7681218


The alpha component of the receptor for ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) differs from other known growth factor receptors in that it is anchored to cell membranes by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage. One possible function of this type of linkage is to allow for the regulated release of this receptor component. Cell lines not normally responsive to CNTF responded to treatment with a combination of CNTF and a soluble form of the CNTF alpha receptor component. These findings not only demonstrate that the CNTF receptor alpha chain is a required component of the functional CNTF receptor complex but also reveal that it can function in soluble form as part of a heterodimeric ligand. Potential physiological roles for the soluble CNTF receptor are suggested by its presence in cerebrospinal fluid and by its release from skeletal muscle in response to peripheral nerve injury.

Stay Connected to Science