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Neurotrophin receptor homolog-2 regulates nerve growth factor signaling.

Journal of neurochemistry (2008-07-16)
Agnes W Wong, Melanie Willingham, Junhua Xiao, Trevor J Kilpatrick, Simon S Murray

The neurotrophin receptor homolog (NRH2) is closely related to the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR); however, its function and role in neurotrophin signaling are unclear. NRH2 does not bind to nerve growth factor (NGF), however, is able to form a receptor complex with tropomyosin-related kinase receptor A (TrkA) and to generate high-affinity NGF binding sites. Despite this, the mechanisms underpinning the interaction between NRH2 and TrkA remain unknown. Here, we identify that the intracellular domain of NRH2 is required to form an association with TrkA. Our data suggest extensive intracellular interaction between NRH2 and TrkA, as either the juxtamembrane or death domain regions of NRH2 are sufficient for interaction with TrkA. In addition, we demonstrate that TrkA signaling is dramatically influenced by the co-expression of NRH2. Importantly, NRH2 did not influence all downstream TrkA signaling pathways, but rather exerted a specific effect, enhancing src homology 2 domain-containing transforming protein (Shc) activation. Moreover, downstream of Shc, the co-expression of NRH2 resulted in TrkA specifically modulating mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activation, but not the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway. These results indicate that NRH2 utilizes intracellular mechanisms to not only regulate NGF binding to TrkA, but also specifically modulate TrkA receptor signaling, thus adding further layers of complexity and specificity to neurotrophin signaling.

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