Expression and structure of the human NGF receptor.
The nucleotide sequence for the human nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor has been determined. The 3.8 kb receptor mRNA encodes a 427 amino acid protein containing a 28 amino acid signal peptide, an extracellular domain containing four 40 amino acid repeats with six cysteine residues at conserved positions followed by a serine/threonine-rich region, a single transmembrane domain, and a 155 amino acid cytoplasmic domain. The sequence of the extracellular domain of the NGF receptor predicts a highly ordered structure containing a negatively charged region that may serve as the ligand-binding site. This domain is conserved through evolution. Transfection of a full-length cDNA in mouse fibroblasts results in stable expression of NGF receptors that are recognized by monoclonal antibodies to the human NGF receptor and that bind [125I]NGF.