TrkB: Bridging Ontogenesis and Oncogenesis

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 09:57

Tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) is a member of the Trk receptor tyrosine kinases family consisting of TrkA, TrkB and TrkC. The sequence of these family members is highly conserved. Interaction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) with its tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B TrkB is involved in fundamental cellular processes including neuronal proliferation, differentiation and survival as well as neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity (1).

IHC analysis of TrkB in paraffin-embedded human brain tissue. IHC analysis of TrkB in paraffin-embedded human brain tissue.

TrkB signaling has been widely associated with beneficial, trophic effects and many commonly used psychotropic drugs aim to increase BDNF levels in the brain. However, it is likely that a prolonged increased TrkB activation is observed in many pathological conditions, which may underlie the development and course of clinical symptoms. Interestingly, genetic and pharmacological studies aiming at decreasing TrkB activation in rodent models mimicking human pathology have demonstrated a promising therapeutic landscape for TrkB inhibitors in the treatment of various diseases, e.g. central nervous system (CNS) disorders and several types of cancers (2). TrkB blockade with anti-TrkB antibodies in the transitional cell carcinoma cells lines indicated that the anti-TrkB antibody blockade resulted in the down regulation of survivin and securing expression, followed by decreased proliferation, migration and invasion of the cancer cells (3). In any case, there is great potential for the use of Trk inhibitors in the treatment of several cancers, as well as other malignancies with activated or overexpressed Trk genes.  Novus Biologicals offers a wide variety of reagents for this highly conserved protein in the form of cell lysates, RNAi and anti-TrkB for your research.


  1. PMID: 19755385
  2. PMID: 22705453
  3. PMID: 20811716

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