GDNF family receptor alpha-1 (GFRA1) is also known as RET ligand 1 (RETL1), TGF-beta-related neurotrophic factor receptor 1 (TRNR1), is a novel glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked cell surface receptor, and belongs to the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) receptor subfamily. The GDNF family ligands comprises GDNF, Neurturin (NTN), Artemin, and Persephin. GDNF and NTN are two structurally related, potent neurotrophic factors that play key roles in the control of neuron survival and differentiation. GFRA1 mediates the association with and activation of the RET tyrosine kinase receptor (RTK), and subsequently initiates the RET signaling pathway. GFR alpha-mediated signaling plays an important role in the survival, differentiation, and migration of central and peripheral neurons, and is essential for the development of kidneys and the enteric nervous system, as well as the inflammatory response in some carciniomas.
Clinical and Translational Updates
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