Differences in the surface binding and endocytosis of neurotrophins by p75NTR

Smita Saxena, Charles L. Howe, José M. Cosgaya, Minjie Hu, Joachim Weis, Alex Krüttgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Neurotrophins transmit signals retrogradely from synapses to cell bodies by two different types of surface receptors, p75NTR and Trks. Compared to TrkA, the function of p75NTR in nerve growth factor (NGF) endocytosis is less clear, and it is unknown whether p75NTR by itself may internalize other neurotrophins besides NGF. We directly compared TrkA and p75NTR for their ability to internalize NGF, and we also examined the endocytosis of iodinated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT3) by p75NTR. Cells expressing solely TrkA internalized NGF more efficiently than cells expressing p75NTR. Surprisingly, cells expressing only p75NTR internalized far more BDNF or NT3 than NGF. Moreover, p75NTR was more important for surface binding than for intracellular accumulation of each neurotrophin. Finally, we established a mechanistic role for the clathrin pathway in p75NTR endocytosis. Our results suggest that p75NTR may have multiple roles in different subcellular locations, functioning both at the cell surface and also within endocytic compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-307
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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