Studies showing that neurotrophin binding to p75NTR can promote cell survival in the absence of Trk (tropomyosin-related kinase) receptors, together with recent structural data indicating that NGF may bind to p75NTR in a monovalent manner, raise the possibility that small molecule p75NTR ligands that positively regulate survival might be found. A pharmacophore designed to capture selected structural and physical chemical features of a neurotrophin domain known to interact with p75NTR was applied to in silico screening of small molecule libraries. Small, nonpeptide, monomeric compounds were identified that interact with p75NTR. In cells showing trophic responses to neurotrophins, the compounds promoted survival signaling through p75NTR-dependent mechanisms. In cells susceptible to proneurotrophin-induced death, compounds did not induce apoptosis but inhibited proneurotrophin-mediated death. These studies identify a unique range of p75NTR behaviors that can result from isolated receptor liganding and establish several novel therapeutic leads.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3547-05.2006
View details for Web of Science ID 000237608400002
View details for PubMedID 16707781