Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15330756
Biochem. J. 2005 Jan;385(Pt 1):233-41
The topology and trafficking of receptors play a key role in their signalling capability. Indeed, receptor function is related to the microenvironment inside the cell, where specific signalling molecules are compartmentalized. The response to NGF (nerve growth factor) is strongly dependent on the trafficking of its receptor, TrkA. However, information is still scarce about the role of the cellular localization of the TrkA co-receptor, p75NTR (where NTR is neurotrophin receptor), following stimulation by NGF. It has been shown that these two receptors play a key role in epithelial tissue and in epithelial-derived tumours, where the microenvironment at the plasma membrane is defined by the presence of tight junctions. Indeed, in thyroid carcinomas, rearrangements of TrkA are frequently found, which produce TrkA mutants that are localized exclusively in the cytoplasm. We used a thyroid cellular model in which it was possible to dissect the trafficking of the two NGF receptors upon neurotrophin stimulation. In FRT (Fischer rat thyroid) cells, endogenous TrkA is localized exclusively on the basolateral surface, while transfected p75NTR is selectively distributed on the apical membrane. This cellular system enabled us to selectively stimulate either p75NTR or TrkA and to analyse the role of receptor trafficking in their signalling capability. We found that, after binding to NGF, p75NTR was co-immunoprecipitated with TrkA and was transcytosed at the basolateral membrane. We showed that the TrkA-p75NTR interaction is necessary for this relocation of p75NTR to the basolateral side. Interestingly, TrkA-specific stimulation by basolateral NGF loading also induced the TrkA-p75NTR interaction and subsequent p75NTR transcytosis at the basolateral surface. Moreover, specific stimulation of p75NTR by NGF activated TrkA and the MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. Our data indicate that TrkA regulates the subcellular localization of p75NTR upon stimulation with neurotrophins, thus affecting the topology of the signal transduction molecules, driving the activation of a specific signal transduction pathway.