Here we describe the structure and linkage of genes encoding the alpha and gamma subunits of mouse nerve growth factor (NGF). These genes are members of the highly homologous glandular kallikrein multigene family. Together with the beta subunit, the alpha and gamma proteins constitute the high mol. wt. (7S) form of NGF isolated from mouse submandibular gland. The gamma subunit is an active serine protease and is thought to cleave pro-beta-NGF to generate the mature growth factor. The alpha subunit has no detectable proteolytic activity, but is essential for the stable formation of 7S NGF. Lack of enzyme activity of the alpha subunit can be attributed, at least in part, to the deletion of 15 nucleotides in a highly conserved coding region which is normally involved in the activation of serine proteases from their inactive zymogen form.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||The EMBO Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1985|