Is GAS1 a co-receptor for the GDNF family of ligands?

Ora Schueler-Furman, Eitan Glick, José Segovia, Michal Linial*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a survival and maintenance factor for dopamine-containing neurons and motoneurons. GDNF belongs to a family of structurally related factors that includes neurturin (NRTN), artemin (ARTN) and persephin (PSPN). An initial step in the activation of signaling via the GDNF family of ligands (GFLs) is their binding to their cognate co-receptor GFRα. GAS1, an apparently unrelated protein, exhibits homology to GFRα and thus we hypothesize that GAS1 can serve as an alternative receptor for GFLs. The functional similarity between GFRα and GAS1 extends to their role in embryogenesis, differentiation and glia maintenance, and is substantiated by overlap in their expression profile, subcellular localization and structural details. We propose that the relative expression and localization of the two remote receptors, GFRα and GAS1, on the membranes of neuronal and glial cells determines whether these cells survive or undergo apoptotic death.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the SCCB, the Sudarsky Center for Computational Biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The study is partially supported by EU Framework VI consortium DIAMONDS and BioSapiens (M.L) and Conacyt Grant No. 42721-M (J.S).


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