We verified the hypothesis that changes in the endogenous GM1 ganglioside density in the environment of TrkB, receptor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, can affect receptor activity, and focused on rat cerebellar granule cells expressing both GM1 and TrkB. Changes of the amount of GM1 associated to immunoprecipitated TrkB and of receptor tyrosine phosphorylation were evaluated after treatment with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (1 μM, 7 min), reported to affect the plasma membrane distribution of endogenous gangliosides in the same cells. After treatment, the amount of GM1 associated to receptor and TrkB phosphorylation decreased by about 40%. The amount of associated GM1 decreased by about 33% also after concomitant treatment with phorbol ester and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, but in this case the neurotrophin was unable to enhance receptor tyrosine phosphorylation. These results for the first time suggest that changes in the amount of endogenous GM1 in the environment of TrkB can modulate receptor activity, and offer new clues for a better understanding of physiological and pathological events of the nervous system. Copyright (C) 1998 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology