Review Article

Functions and the related signaling pathways of the neurotrophic factor neuritin

Authors: Jin-jing YAO1, Qian-ru ZHAO1, Jun-mei LU1, Yan-ai MEI1
1 Institutes of Brain Science, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology and School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
Correspondence to: Yan-ai MEI: yamei@fudan.edu.cn,
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2017.197
Received: 20 September 2017
Accepted: 8 December 2017
Advance online: 29 March 2018

Abstract

Neuritin is a member of the neurotrophic factor family, which is activated by neural activity and neurotrophins, and promotes neurite growth and branching. It has shown to play an important role in neuronal plasticity and regeneration. It is also involved in other biological processes such as angiogenesis, tumorigenesis and immunomodulation. Thus far, however, the primary mechanisms of neuritin, including whether or not it acts through a receptor or which downstream signals might be activated following binding, are not fully understood. Recent evidence suggests that neuritin may be a potential therapeutic target in several neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advances in studies regarding the newly identified functions of neuritin and the signaling pathways related to these functions. We also discuss current hot topics and difficulties in neuritin research.
Keywords: neuritin; neurotrophic factor; insulin receptor; MEK-ERK pathway; PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway; Ca2+-CaN-NFATc4 pathway

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