Ubiquitination of TrkA by Nedd4-2 regulates receptor lysosomal targeting and mediates receptor signaling

Maya V. Georgieva, Yolanda De Pablo, Daniel Sanchis, Joan X. Comella, Marta Llovera

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The nerve growth factor receptor TrkA (tropomyosin-related kinase receptor) participates in the survival and differentiation of several neuronal populations. The C-terminal tail of TrkA contains a PPXY motif, the binding site of the E3 ubiquitin-ligase Nedd4-2 (neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4-2). In order to analyze the role of Nedd4-2 ubiquitination on TrkA function, we generated three TrkA mutants, by introducing point mutations on conserved hydrophobic amino acids - Leu784 and Val790 switched to Ala. TrkA mutants co-localized and co-immunoprecipitated more efficiently with Nedd4-2 and consequently a strong increase in the basal multimonoubiquitination of the mutant receptors was observed. In addition, we found a decrease in TrkA abundance because of the preferential sorting of mutant receptors towards the late endosome/lysosome pathway instead of recycling back to the plasma membrane. Despite the reduction in the amount of membrane receptor caused by the C-terminal changes, TrkA mutants were able to activate signaling cascades and were even more efficient in promoting neurite outgrowth than the wild-type receptor. Our results demonstrate that the C-terminal tail hydrophobicity of TrkA regulates Nedd4-2 binding and activity and therefore controls receptor turnover. In addition, TrkA multimonoubiquitination does not interfere with the activation of signaling cascades, but rather potentiates receptor signaling leading to differentiation. © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-493
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • degradation
  • differentiation
  • neurotrophin receptor
  • trafficking
  • ubiquitin-ligase
  • ubiquitination


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