The Journal of biological chemistry

Nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor on rat glial cell lines. Evidence for NGF internalization via p75NGFR.

PMID 1321130


Two types of nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors have been described: high affinity (class I) and low affinity (class II). Biological responses to NGF are thought to be mediated by class I receptors, whereas the role of class II receptors is less clear. While some neuronal cells express both receptor types, only class II receptors have been detected on glial cells. Two glial cell lines, peripheral Schwannoma D6P2T and central 33B glioma cells, were employed to investigate the properties of class II receptors in the absence of class I receptors. These cell lines were found to express NGF receptors identified as class II by a low nanomolar dissociation constant, rapid dissociation kinetics at 4 degrees C, and trypsin sensitivity. The receptor was found to bind brain-derived neurotrophic factor with similar affinity as NGF. The responsible binding molecule appeared in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis as a heterogeneously glycosylated protein of 60-80 kDa with a tendency to aggregate. All receptor bands affinity-labeled with radioiodinated NGF were immunoprecipitated with anti-p75NGFR antibody, but not with anti-p140prototrk antiserum. In these cells, which express p75NGFR as only NGF receptor, a time- and temperature-dependent appearance of a nondisplaceable, trypsin-resistant, acid wash-stable ligand fraction, followed by an increase of trichloroacetic acid-soluble radiolabel in the medium was observed. This sequestration resembled receptor-mediated internalization with subsequent degradation of NGF. Whether this ligand processing indicates a functional role of p75NGFR in glial cells remains to be shown.

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