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

Expression of TrkB receptor isoforms in the developing avian visual system.

The expression of novel TrkB receptor transcripts has been characterized to understand the potentially diverse roles of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the developing avian visual system. In situ localization with an extracellular domain probe common to all TrkB transcripts labeled a sub-population of large retinal ganglion cells as well as many associated visual nuclei, including the neuronal layers within the tectum that receive retinal innervation. Because of the potential for structurally and functionally distinct receptors derived from the TrkB gene locus, cDNA cloning and reverse transcription-PCR analysis were used to further analyze receptor isoform expression in the retina and tectum. Receptor isoforms were sequenced that contained a deletion of the N terminus, a deletion in the putative ligand-binding domain, or a deletion in the cytoplasmic juxtamembrane (JM) domain. Two novel JM insertion sequences also were identified, one of which exhibits weak homology to beta-actin and was found in both kinase-containing (TK+) and kinase deletion (KD) receptor isoforms. In the developing retina, TK+ receptor mRNA is upregulated during the period of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death, consistent with the proposed role of BDNF as a tectal-derived survival factor for RGCs. However, the expression of TK+ transcripts in the tectum indicates that this structure also contains cells responsive to BDNF throughout development. Because BDNF is expressed in both the retina and tectum, it is conceivable that TrkB also mediates autocrine/paracrine signaling within these structures or anterograde retinotectal trophic support.[1]


  1. Expression of TrkB receptor isoforms in the developing avian visual system. Garner, A.S., Menegay, H.J., Boeshore, K.L., Xie, X.Y., Voci, J.M., Johnson, J.E., Large, T.H. J. Neurosci. (1996) [Pubmed]
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