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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heparin facilitates glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor signal transduction.

Glial cell-line neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a neurotrophic factor with heparin binding affinity, promotes the survival and differentiation of a variety of neuronal cells including dopaminergic neuron. The effect of heparin on GDNF signaling was investigated based on the expression of the tyrosine hydroxyrase (TH) gene in neurobalstoma cells. Up-regulation of TH gene mRNA by GDNF was enhanced by co-administration of heparin. This facilitation by heparin was particularly evident at suboptimal levels of GDNF, which was consistent with the luciferase assay using TH gene promoter. Pretreatment with heparitinase decreased TH promoter activity in the absence of heparin. Phosphorylation of extracellular regulated kinase was increased in the presence of heparin, although tyrosine phosphorylation of Ret receptor tyrosine kinase was not affected by heparin. Expression of early response genes such as c-fos or Egr1 increased and sustained in the presence of heparin more than that without heparin. These results indicate that interaction with glycosaminoglycans such as heparin affects GDNF signal transduction positively.[1]


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