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GDNF-Family Ligands and Receptor Interactions

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Neurotrophic factors are a broad set of peptide growth factors that tightly regulate many critical aspects of the ontogeny of neurons, such as the number of neurons in a given population, neurite branching and synaptogenesis, adult synaptic plasticity and maturation of electrophysiological properties. Neurotrophic factors include Neurotrophins, Neurokines and GDNF (Glial-cell-line-derived Neurotrophic Factor) family ligands (GFLs). GDNF family, consisting of GDNF, NRTN (Neurturin), ARTN (Artemin) and PSPN (Persephin) are distant members of the TGF-Beta (Transforming Growth Factor-Beta) superfamily that maintain several neuronal populations in the CNS (Central Nervous Systems), including midbrain dopamine neurons. In addition, GDNF, NRTN and ARTN support the survival and regulate the differentiation of many peripheral neurons, including sympathetic, parasympathetic, sensory and enteric neurons (Ref.1).

Unlike other members of the TGF-Beta superfamily, which signal through the receptor serine-threonine kinases, the cellular responses to GFLs are mediated [...]


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