Sino Biological offers a wide selection of tools for research on neurotrophic factors and their receptors, including recombinant proteins, antibodies, ELISA kits, and gene cDNA clones.
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Neurotrophic factors comprise a broad family of secreted proteins that exert survival-promoting, growth promoting, and trophic actions on neuronal cells. Neurotrophic factors are essential for keeping neurons alive and properly connected. During development, these factors play a critical role in nourishing the neurons in the spinal cord that connect to the muscle cells to prevent the death of the nerve cell. In addition, neurotrophic factors regulate growth of neurons, associated metabolic functions such as protein synthesis, and the ability of the neuron to make the neurotransmitters that carry chemical signals which allow the neuron to communicate with other neurons or with other targets.
The first neurotrophic factor family discovered was the neurotrophins which consist of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). Each of the four mammalian neurotrophins has been shown to activate one or more of the three members of the tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family of receptor tyrosine kinases (TrkA, TrkB and TrkC). In addition, each neurotrophin activates p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), a member of the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Members of numerous other proteins also regulate neural survival, development and function through activation of receptor tyrosine kinases, most notably the glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family. There are at least four members of this family including GDNF, neurturin, artemin, and persephin.
Neurotrophic factors control the survival and development of neurons. They also play important roles in regulating axon growth, dendrite cell growth and pruning and the expression of proteins, such as ion channels, transmitter biosynthetic enzymes and neuropeptide transmitters that are essential for normal neuronal function. Disruption of neurotrophic factor signalling is a characteristic of many central and peripheral nervous system disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and peripheral neuropathy.