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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

BDNF: One growth factor – three ligands shaping neurons Seminar

13:00 - 14:00
18 October 2013
SGH IDS Lecture Theatre

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Maria Hilliard on 02380 598 148 or email .

Event details

Katrin is fascinated by the beautiful but complicated shape of individual neurons, and the complex intracellular logistics required to form, maintain and remodel these cells throughout life. Including understaning how neurons integrate the different extracellular cues that they receive at distinct parts of the cell in time and space to maintain and adapt their structure and connectivity.

Neurons are highly polarised cells with elaborate axonal and dendritic arbours that allow them to directly communicate with cells distant from the soma. The formation and maintenance of neuronal networks requires both defined local responses to stimuli as well as efficient intracellular communication over great distances. The neurotrophin family of growth factors plays a prominent role in mediating neuronal connectivity. Neurotrophins signal through Trk receptor tyrosine kinases to trigger both localised morphological changes and nuclear responses in form of immediate early gene expression. We have shown that axonal stimulation with BDNF leads to the expression of a MAP kinase phosphatase, MKP-1, which in turn regulates axonal branch formation. In contrast, the neurotrophin precursors proBDNF and proNGF signal through the p75NTR and SorCS2 receptors to impact neuronal morphology by inducing rapid growth cone collapse. Finally, a common polymorphism within the BDNF prodomain (Val66Met) induces a structural change, conferring biological activity to the isolated prodomain, also leading to growth cone collapse.

Speaker information

Dr Katrin Deinhardt, Centre for Biological Sciences,University of Southampton

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