|Nerve Growth Factor is a growth factor and a signaling molecule that binds to two distinct receptors. |
Receptors:TrkA and p75
NGF in Chordoma
Because NGF has been shown to have effects on the proliferation and survival of tumor cells in other cancers (including breast cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, and pheochromocytoma),1 chordoma researchers have begun to explore the role of NGF and its receptors in chordoma tumor cells. Studies have uncovered chromosomal abnormalities involving NGF and have shown that NGF and its receptors are expressed. However, further research will be necessary to understand NGF signling in chordoma and to evaluate whether it could be targeted as a method for treating the disease.
Copy Number Variation
Chromosomal Aberrations: Losses of the region of chromosome 1 where the NGF gene resides, or of chromosome 1 in its entirety, are common chromosomal aberrations observed in chordomas.2 3 4 5
Mean expression of NGF and of the TrkA receptor is higher in chordoma cells than in notochord cells, while expression of the p75 receptor is similar in the cell types. This suggests that chordoma cell survival is favored over apoptosis, and indeed, quantitative measures revealed that the mean potential proliferation index was higher in chordoma cells than in notochord cells and the apoptosis index was lower.1