Research ArticleNeuroscience

Ligand Binding to LRP1 Transactivates Trk Receptors by a Src Family Kinase–Dependent Pathway

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Sci. Signal.  28 Apr 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 68, pp. ra18
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000188

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Low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 1 (LRP1) functions in endocytosis and intracellular signaling for a variety of structurally diverse ligands. Although LRP1 has been implicated in several aspects of neuronal function, molecular mechanisms underlying the activity of neuronal LRP1 remain unclear. Here, we describe a signaling pathway whereby LRP1 transactivates Trk receptors. Binding of tissue-type plasminogen activator or α2-macroglobulin (α2M) to LRP1 resulted in Src family kinase (SFK) activation and SFK-dependent Trk receptor transactivation in PC12 cells and neurons. Trk receptor transactivation was necessary for activation of Akt and extracellular signal–regulated kinase and for neurite outgrowth downstream of LRP1. Injection of the LRP1-binding domain of α2M into rat dorsal root ganglia induced Trk receptor phosphorylation, which was blocked by receptor-associated protein, an antagonist of ligand binding to LRP1. Trk receptor transactivation provides a mechanism by which diverse LRP1 ligands may show neurotrophic activity.

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