TrkC isoforms with inserts in the kinase domain show impaired signaling responses

Pantelis Tsoulfas, Robert M. Stephens, David R. Kaplan, Luis F. Parada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The genetic locus for the TrkC/neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) receptor tyrosine kinase encodes multiple isoforms including receptors with inserts in the catalytic domain. This study examines the signaling capabilities of TrkC and related kinase insert isoforms TrkC14 and TrkC25. We show that in PC12 cells expressing both TrkC and TrkA/nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors, different morphological changes occur upon addition of NGF or NT-3. NT-3-treated cells exhibit longer neurites and larger cell bodies as compared to NGF-treated cells. Both TrkC and TrkA mediate qualitatively similar increases in the tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C (PLC)-γ1, Shc, SNT, and MAPK and the transcription of the c-fos, c-jun, NGFI-A, and NGFI-B immediate early genes. However, the TrkC kinase insert forms fail to stimulate these events. Furthermore, TrkC14 and TrkC25 have only a low intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity, and insertion of the TrkC14 kinase insert into TrkA at an equivalent position results in a dramatic reduction of the kinase activity and signaling capabilities of TrkA. The TrkC14 and -25 isoforms may fail to transmit signals due to their low intrinsic kinase activity and failure to activate and/or tyrosine phosphorylate targets shown to be involved in neurotrophin signal transduction pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5691-5697
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 8 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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