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Tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) is a known receptor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Because it plays a critical role in the regulation of neuronal development, maturation, survival, etc., TrkB is a good target for drugs against central nervous system diseases. In this study, we aimed to generate peptidic TrkB agonists by applying random peptide phage display technology. After the phage panning against recombinant Fc-fused TrkB (TrkB-Fc), agonistic phages were directly screened against TrkB-expressing HEK293 cells. Through subsequent screening of the first-hit BM17 peptide-derived focus library, we successfully obtained the BM17d99 peptide, which had no sequence similarity with BDNF but had TrkB-binding capacity. We then synthesized a dimeric BM17d99 analog peptide that could phosphorylate or activate TrkB by facilitating receptor homodimerization. Treatment of TrkB-expressing HEK293 cells with the dimeric BM17d99 analog peptide significantly induced the phosphorylation of TrkB, suggesting that homodimerization of TrkB was enhanced by the dimeric peptide. This report demonstrates that our approach is useful for the generation of artificial peptidic agonists of cell surface receptors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Toshiyuki Ohnishi, Kotaro Sakamoto, Asano Asami-Odaka, Kimie Nakamura, Ayako Shimizu, Takashi Ito, Taiji Asami, Tetsuya Ohtaki, Hiroshi Inooka. Generation of a novel artificial TrkB agonist, BM17d99, using T7 phage-displayed random peptide libraries. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2017 Jan 29;483(1):101-106

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PMID: 28043792

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