GDNF promotes the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in culture, and is able to prevent apoptosis of motor neurons induced by axotomy. The encoded protein is processed to a mature secreted form that exists as a homodimer. The mature form of the protein is a ligand for the product of the RET (rearranged during transfection) protooncogene. In addition to the transcript encoding GDNF, two additional alternative transcripts encoding distinct proteins, referred to as astrocyte-derived trophic factors, have also been described. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Hirschsprung disease. GDNF enhances survival and morphological differentiation of dopaminergic neurons and increases their high-affinity dopamine uptake.
Note: This hGDNF is fully biologically active when compared to a standard. The ED50, calculated by the dose-dependent dopamine uptake in rat mesencephalic cultures, was found to be 4-8 ng/ml.
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