c-Abl Tyrosine Kinase Is Required for BDNF-Induced Dendritic Branching and Growth

América Chandía-Cristi, Nicolás Stuardo, Cristian Trejos, Nancy Leal, Daniela Urrutia, Francisca C. Bronfman, Alejandra Álvarez Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) induces activation of the TrkB receptor and several downstream pathways (MAPK, PI3K, PLC-γ), leading to neuronal survival, growth, and plasticity. It has been well established that TrkB signaling regulation is required for neurite formation and dendritic arborization, but the specific mechanism is not fully understood. The non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl is a possible candidate regulator of this process, as it has been implicated in tyrosine kinase receptors’ signaling and trafficking, as well as regulation of neuronal morphogenesis. To assess the role of c-Abl in BDNF-induced dendritic arborization, wild-type and c-Abl-KO neurons were stimulated with BDNF, and diverse strategies were employed to probe the function of c-Abl, including the use of pharmacological inhibitors, an allosteric c-Abl activator, and shRNA to downregulates c-Abl expression. Surprisingly, BDNF promoted c-Abl activation and interaction with TrkB receptors. Furthermore, pharmacological c-Abl inhibition and genetic ablation abolished BDNF-induced dendritic arborization and increased the availability of TrkB in the cell membrane. Interestingly, inhibition or genetic ablation of c-Abl had no effect on the classic TrkB downstream pathways. Together, our results suggest that BDNF/TrkB-dependent c-Abl activation is a novel and essential mechanism in TrkB signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1944
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • BDNF/TrkB pathway
  • c-Abl
  • dendritic arborization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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