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      K-252 Compounds: Modulators of Neurotrophin Signal Transduction

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      Journal of Neurochemistry

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          K-252 compounds, which share a common polyaromatic aglycon structure, are rather general and potent inhibitors of various protein kinases, including protein kinase C and tyrosine-specific protein kinases, and possibly act by interfering at or near the ATP binding site. However, chemical modifications in their sugar moiety can result in high specificity of the inhibitory action and, furthermore, can induce other stimulatory and inhibitory effects on nerve cells. These compounds are of particular interest because, in intact cells, they inhibit the actions of NGF and other neurotrophins without diminishing comparable actions of other growth factors. This effect seems to reflect a direct inhibitory action on trk neurotrophin receptor proteins. At concentrations lower than those necessary to inhibit neurotrophin actions, K-252a and K-252b have been shown to potentiate the stimulatory effects of NT-3 on different neurons in culture and on PC12 cells. The structural requirements for this effect seem to be different from those for the inhibition of neurotrophin actions. These findings raise the possibility of development of compounds of high selectivity, able to inhibit or potentiate the transduction mechanisms of individual neurotrophins, and identify K-252a and K-252b as lead compounds for the development of such selective molecules. Specific inhibitors and stimulators of neurotrophins would be valuable tools to investigate biological functions of the neurotrophins in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, it is possible that, in the future, highly selective drugs with agonistic or antagonistic actions on neurotrophin mechanisms could become therapeutically useful in the treatment of neurological disease and injury.

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          Most cited references 76

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          Molecular cloning and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

           M Hofer,  H Thoenen,  Y Barde (1989)
          During the development of the vertebrate nervous system, many neurons depend for survival on interactions with their target cells. Specific proteins are thought to be released by the target cells and to play an essential role in these interactions. So far, only one such protein, nerve growth factor, has been fully characterized. This has been possible because of the extraordinarily (and unexplained) large quantities of this protein in some adult tissues that are of no relevance to the developing nervous system. Whereas the dependency of many neurons on their target cells for normal development, and the restricted neuronal specificity of nerve growth factor have long suggested the existence of other such proteins, their low abundance has rendered their characterization difficult. Here we report the full primary structure of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This very rare protein is known to promote the survival of neuronal populations that are all located either in the central nervous system or directly connected with it. The messenger RNA for brain-derived neurotrophic factor was found predominantly in the central nervous system, and the sequence of the protein indicates that it is structurally related to nerve growth factor. These results establish that these two neurotrophic factors are related both functionally and structurally.
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            BDNF is a neurotrophic factor for dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra.

            Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), present in minute amounts in the adult central nervous system, is a member of the nerve growth factor (NGF) family, which includes neurotrophin-3 (NT-3). NGF, BDNF and NT-3 all support survival of subpopulations of neural crest-derived sensory neurons; most sympathetic neurons are responsive to NGF, but not to BDNF; NT-3 and BDNF, but not NGF, promote survival of sensory neurons of the nodose ganglion. BDNF, but not NGF, supports the survival of cultured retinal ganglion cells but both NGF and BDNF promote the survival of septal cholinergic neurons in vitro. However, knowledge of their precise physiological role in development and maintenance of the nervous system neurons is still limited. The BDNF gene is expressed in many regions of the adult CNS, including the striatum. A protein partially purified from bovine striatum, a target of nigral dopaminergic neurons, with characteristics apparently similar to those of BDNF, can enhance the survival of dopaminergic neurons in mesencephalic cultures. BDNF seems to be a trophic factor for mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons, increasing their survival, including that of neuronal cells which degenerate in Parkinson's disease. Here we report the effects of BDNF on the survival of dopaminergic neurons of the developing substantia nigra.
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              Insulin-like growth factor I receptor primary structure: comparison with insulin receptor suggests structural determinants that define functional specificity.

              To identify structural characteristics of the closely related cell surface receptors for insulin and IGF-I that define their distinct physiological roles, we determined the complete primary structure of the human IGF-I receptor from cloned cDNA. The deduced sequence predicts a 1367 amino acid receptor precursor, including a 30-residue signal peptide, which is removed during translocation of the nascent polypeptide chain. The 1337 residue, unmodified proreceptor polypeptide has a predicted Mr of 151,869, which compares with the 180,000 Mr IGF-I receptor precursor. In analogy with the 152,784 Mr insulin receptor precursor, cleavage of the Arg-Lys-Arg-Arg sequence at position 707 of the IGF-I receptor precursor will generate alpha (80,423 Mr) and beta (70,866 Mr) subunits, which compare with approximately 135,000 Mr (alpha) and 90,000 Mr (beta) fully glycosylated subunits.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Neurochemistry
                Wiley
                00223042
                December 1992
                October 05 2006
                : 59
                : 6
                : 1987-1996
                Article
                10.1111/j.1471-4159.1992.tb10085.x
                1431889
                © 2006

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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