Talk:Developmental Signals - Nerve Growth Factor

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2021, November 30) Embryology Developmental Signals - Nerve Growth Factor. Retrieved from


A comprehensive analysis of neurotrophins and neurotrophin tyrosine kinase receptors expression during development of zebrafish

J Comp Neurol. 2018 Apr 15;526(6):1057-1072. doi: 10.1002/cne.24391. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Nittoli V1, Sepe RM1, Coppola U1, D'Agostino Y1, De Felice E1, Palladino A1, Vassalli QA1, Locascio A1, Ristoratore F1, Spagnuolo A1, D'Aniello S1, Sordino P1. Author information Abstract Neurotrophins (NTF) are a family of secreted nerve growth factors with affinity for tyrosine kinase (Ntrk) and p75 receptors. To fully understand the variety of developmental roles played by NTFs, it is critical to know when and where genes encoding individual ligands and receptors are transcribed. Identification of ntf and ntrk transcripts in zebrafish development remains to be fully characterized for further uncovering the potential function(s) of the NTF signal transduction pathway. Here, we conducted a systematic analysis of the expression profiles of four ntf and five ntrk genes during zebrafish development using whole-mount in situ hybridization. Our study unveils new expression domains in the developing embryo, confirms those previously known, and shows that ntf and ntrk genes have different degrees of cell- and tissue-type specificity. The unique and overlapping expression patterns here depicted indicate the coordination of the redundant and divergent functions of NTFs and represent valuable tools for deciphering the molecular pathways involved in the specification and function of embryonic cell types. KEYWORDS: RRID:SCR_008439; development; neurotrophin tyrosine kinase receptors; neurotrophins; phylogeny; zebrafish PMID: 29322524


Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenal

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 29;8(11):e81827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081827. eCollection 2013.

Sunagar K1, Fry BG, Jackson TN, Casewell NR, Undheim EA, Vidal N, Ali SA, King GF, Vasudevan K, Vasconcelos V, Antunes A.


Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation.

PMID 24312363 PMCID: PMC3843689 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081827


Nerve growth factor: from the early discoveries to the potential clinical use

J Transl Med. 2012 Nov 29;10:239. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-10-239.

Aloe L1, Rocco ML, Bianchi P, Manni L.


The physiological role of the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF) has been characterized, since its discovery in the 1950s, first in the sensory and autonomic nervous system, then in central nervous, endocrine and immune systems. NGF plays its trophic role both during development and in adulthood, ensuring the maintenance of phenotypic and functional characteristic of several populations of neurons as well as immune cells. From a translational standpoint, the action of NGF on cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain and on sensory neurons in dorsal root ganglia first gained researcher's attention, in view of possible clinical use in Alzheimer's disease patients and in peripheral neuropathies respectively. The translational and clinical research on NGF have, since then, enlarged the spectrum of diseases that could benefit from NGF treatment, at the same time highlighting possible limitations in the use of the neurotrophin as a drug. In this review we give a comprehensive account for almost all of the clinical trials attempted until now by using NGF. A perspective on future development for translational research on NGF is also discussed, in view of recent proposals for innovative delivery strategies and/or for additional pathologies to be treated, such as ocular and skin diseases, gliomas, traumatic brain injuries, vascular and immune diseases. PMID 23190582 PMCID: PMC3543237 DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-10-239