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The University of Southampton
Southampton Neuroscience Group

BDNF: one growth factor – three ligands shaping neurons Event

18 October 2013
IDS Lecture Theatre Southampton General Hospital

For more information regarding this event, please email Beatrice Murphy at .

Event details

Part of the CfBS External Seminar Series Presented by Dr Katrin Deinhardt, University of Southampton

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.

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