Tyrosine-protein kinase, neurotrophic receptor, type 1 (IPR020461)

Short name: Tyr_kinase_neurotrophic_rcpt_1

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships


Protein phosphorylation, which plays a key role in most cellular activities, is a reversible process mediated by protein kinases and phosphoprotein phosphatases. Protein kinases catalyse the transfer of the gamma phosphate from nucleotide triphosphates (often ATP) to one or more amino acid residues in a protein substrate side chain, resulting in a conformational change affecting protein function. Phosphoprotein phosphatases catalyse the reverse process. Protein kinases fall into three broad classes, characterised with respect to substrate specificity [PMID: 3291115]:

  • Serine/threonine-protein kinases
  • Tyrosine-protein kinases
  • Dual specificity protein kinases (e.g. MEK - phosphorylates both Thr and Tyr on target proteins)

Protein kinase function is evolutionarily conserved from Escherichia coli to human [PMID: 12471243]. Protein kinases play a role in a multitude of cellular processes, including division, proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation [PMID: 12368087]. Phosphorylation usually results in a functional change of the target protein by changing enzyme activity, cellular location, or association with other proteins. The catalytic subunits of protein kinases are highly conserved, and several structures have been solved [PMID: 15078142], leading to large screens to develop kinase-specific inhibitors for the treatments of a number of diseases [PMID: 15320712].

Tyrosine-protein kinases can transfer a phosphate group from ATP to a tyrosine residue in a protein. These enzymes can be divided into two main groups [PMID: 12471243]:

  • Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK), which are transmembrane proteins involved in signal transduction; they play key roles in growth, differentiation, metabolism, adhesion, motility, death and oncogenesis [PMID: 19275641]. RTKs are composed of 3 domains: an extracellular domain (binds ligand), a transmembrane (TM) domain, and an intracellular catalytic domain (phosphorylates substrate). The TM domain plays an important role in the dimerisation process necessary for signal transduction [PMID: 16700535].

  • Cytoplasmic / non-receptor tyrosine kinases, which act as regulatory proteins, playing key roles in cell differentiation, motility, proliferation, and survival. For example, the Src-family of protein-tyrosine kinases [PMID: 15845350].

Neurotrophins are a family of secreted proteins that regulate development, maintenance and function of vertebrate nervous systems. They act via two different classes of receptor: p75NTR (a member of the TNF receptor superfamily), and neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptors (NTRKs) - also known as tropomyosin-related kinases (Trks) [PMID: 7605062].

NTRKs are multi-domain, transmembrane proteins - in addition to their cytoplasmic kinase domains, members of the family possess a number of extracellular leucine-rich repeat (LRR) and Ig-like C2-type regions. Ligand binding induces them to dimerise, resulting in activation of their cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase domains. The activated receptors couple to a variety of intracellular signalling cascades, including the Ras, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI-3 kinase), mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, and phospholipase C (PLC)-gamma pathways [PMID: 11520916].

NTRK1 (also termed TrkA) is a high-affinity receptor for nerve growth factor (NGF). The receptor is expressed in the dorsal root ganglia, trigeminal ganglia and sympathetic neurons of the peripheral nervous system, and in basal forebrain cholinergic neurons [PMID: 17192812]. It is also expressed in peripheral sites, such as scalp skin [PMID: 16919030]. Whereas p75NTR activation by NGF induces apoptosis, NTRK1 mediates the growth factor's cell survival-promoting effects [PMID: 9547236].

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006468 protein phosphorylation
GO:0007169 transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinase signaling pathway

Molecular Function

GO:0005030 neurotrophin receptor activity
GO:0004714 transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinase activity

Cellular Component

GO:0005887 integral component of plasma membrane

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.