NT-3 growth factor receptor also known as neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 3 or TrkC tyrosine kinase or Trk-C receptor, is a member of the neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) family. This kinase is a membrane-bound receptor that, upon neurotrophin binding, phosphorylates itself and members of the MAPK pathway. TrkC/NTRK3 is widely expressed in the developing and adult nervous system. In later embryonic development, TrkC/NTRK3 is expressed in various structures of the CNS including the caudatoputamen, septal nuclei, cerebellum, and brainstem. Other neurotrophins include nerve growth factor(NGF), neurotrophin-3 and neurotrophin-4. In the PNS, trkC hybridization appears to correlate, both temporally and spatially, with the outgrowth of axons toward their peripheral targets. TrkC/NTRK3 is widely expressed in the three identified branches of the mammalian nervous system and appears to correlate with the expression of NT-3, its cognate ligand. The apparent colocalization of trkC transcripts with NT-3 raises the possibility this neurotrophin exerts its trophic effects by a paracrine and/or autocrine mechanism. Signalling through this kinase leads to cell differentiation and may play a role in the development of proprioceptive neurons that sense body position. Mutations in TrkC encoding gene have been associated with medulloblastomas, secretory breast carcinomas and other cancers.
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