Neurturin is a potent neurotrophic factor closely related to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF, 40% amino acid sequence identity) and, like GDNF, can promote the survival of numerous neuronal populations including sympathetic, nodose, and dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons. Both neurturin and GDNF signal through the Ret tyrosine kinase and require a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked coreceptor. Mutations in Ret and GDNF cause intestinal aganglionosis and renal dysplasia. Activating Ret mutations also cause multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes (MEN2A and MEN2B). We have isolated mouse and human genomic neurturin clones. The sequence for preproneurturin is encoded by two exons. Mouse and human clones have common intron/exon boundaries. We have used interspecific backcross analysis to localize neurturin to mouse chromosome 17 near the Vav locus and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis to localize human neurturin to the syntenic region of human chromosome 19p13.3.
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