Subcellular localization of full-length and truncated Trk receptor isoforms in polarized neurons and epithelial cells

Academic Article


  • Neurotrophins affect neuronal development and plasticity via spatially localized effects, yet little is known about the subcellular distribution of the Trk neurotrophin receptors and the impact of this distribution on neurotrophin action. To address this, we examined the subcellular location of full-length TrkB and TrkC tyrosine kinase receptors and truncated TrkB isoforms after transfection of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, dissociated primary hippocampal neurons, and cortical neurons within intact brain slices. Myc-, herpes virus glycoprotein (HVG)-, or FLAG-derived epitope-tagged receptor isoforms were created to allow their unambiguous identification and localization after transfection. All tagged receptors were appropriately synthesized, and full-length myc-TrkB and myc-TrkC mediated appropriate neurotrophin-signaling events. We found that full-length TrkB receptors were excluded from the apical domain of MDCK cells but that TrkC receptors were present in both apical and basolateral domains. Full-length TrkB and TrkC were found throughout transfected primary cultured hippocampal neurons and transfected neurons in neocortical brain slices and showed no evidence of vectorial sorting. Truncated forms of TrkB were also homogeneously distributed in MDCK cells, dissociated hippocampal neurons, and cortical neurons within slice preparations. Levels of full-length and truncated TrkB were examined in postsynaptic densities; both receptor isoforms were present but only moderately enriched in these structures. Together, these findings suggest that Trk receptors are uniformly distributed in both axonal and dendritic compartments and that local neurotrophin responses are controlled by other mechanisms.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kryl D; Yacoubian T; Haapasalo A; Castren E; Lo D; Barker PA
  • Start Page

  • 5823
  • End Page

  • 5833
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 14