Canonical nerve growth factor or NGF is a kind of neuropeptide or a neurotrophic factor which is primarily involved in the process of regulating and maintaining growth. It was first identified as a prototypical growth factor. After its isolation, it was found that it is involve in a variety of biological processes such as the regulation of the immune system and survival of pancreatic beta cells.
When NGF is initially expressed, it is the mixture of 3 complex proteins Alpha, Beta, and Gama NGF, respectively, in the ratio of 2:1:2. This particular form is also known as NGF precursor or proNGF. In order to activate a protein into a functional NGF, the gamma subunit tends to be serine protease and cleaves the N terminal of the subunit of the beta NGF.
As the name describes, the canonical nerve growth factor is responsible for the regulation and the maintenance of the growth and also for the survival of the neurons. In addition to this, NGF is also responsible for the survival and maintenance of sensory neurons as they die in the absence of NGF. Recent studies also show that despite controlling the life cycle of neurons, NGF is also engaged in pathways.
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