In vitro receptor binding properties of a "painless" NGF mutein, linked to hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy type V

Sonia Covaceuszach, Simona Capsoni, Sara Marinelli, Flaminia Pavone, Marcello Ceci, Gabriele Ugolini, Domenico Vignone, Gianluca Amato, Francesca Paoletti, Doriano Lamba, Antonino Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) signalling is mediated by the TrkA and p75NTR receptors. Besides its neurotrophic and survival activities, NGF displays a potent pro-nociceptive activity. Recently, a missense point mutation was found in the NGFB gene (C661T, leading to the aminoacid substitution R100W) of individuals affected by a form of hereditary loss of pain perception (hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type V, HSAN V). In order to gain insights into the functional consequences of the HSAN V NGF mutation, two sets of hNGFR100 mutants were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified, as mature NGF or proNGF, for in vitro receptor binding studies. Here, we show by Surface Plasmon Resonance analysis that the R100 mutation selectively disrupts binding of hNGF to p75NTR receptor, to an extent which depends on the substituting residue at position 100, while the affinity of hNGFR100 mutants for TrkA receptor is not affected. As for unprocessed hproNGF, the binding of the R100 variants to p75NTR receptor shows only a limited impairment, showing that the impact of the R100 mutation on p75NTR receptor binding is greater in the context of mature, processed hNGF. These results provide a basis for elucidating the mechanisms underlying the clinical manifestations of HSAN V patients, and provide a basis for the development of "painless" hNGF molecules with therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-829
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Binding affinity
  • Human genetic disease
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • p75NTR
  • Pain
  • TrkA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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