Activation of pro-BDNF by the pericellular serine protease plasmin

Kelly Gray, Vincent Ellis

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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is secreted as either a mature furin-processed form or an unprocessed pro-form. Here, we characterise the extracellular processing of pro-BDNF by the serine protease plasmin. Using recombinant BDNF, maintained in the pro-form by site-directed mutagenesis or inhibition of furin, we demonstrate that plasmin (but not related proteases) is a specific and efficient activator of pro-BDNF. The proteolytic cleavage site is identified as Arg125-Val, within the consensus furin-cleavage motif (RVRR), generating an active form that stimulated neurite outgrowth on TrkB-transfected PC12 cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this processing can also occur in the pericellular environment by the action of cell-associated plasminogen activators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-910
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2008

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