BDNF-TrkB signaling (WP3676)

Homo sapiens

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important neurotrophin for the regulation of synaptic activity. BDNF-TrkB signaling, TrkB being the receptor of BDNF, is involved in transcription, translation, and trafficking of proteins in the various stages of synaptic development and evidence indicates that it also plays a significant role in synaptic plasticity, the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time. Synaptic plasticity has been associated with learning and memory development. These functions are carried out through three pathways: mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phospholipase CG (PLC/PLCG), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Pi3K and MAPK have crucial roles in the protein translation and transport caused by synaptic activity. PLCG regulates intracellular levels of Ca2+, which drives gene transcription through cyclic AMP. Evidence strongly indicates that abnormal levels of BDNF leads to significant developmental and neurodegenerative diseases by disrupting neural development and function. An understanding of how the BDNF-TrkB pathway regulates synaptic activity and plasticity is essential to an understanding of how we can effectively treat genetic disruptions of this pathway that lead to terrible neurodevelopmental diseases. Proteins on this pathway have targeted assays available via the [ CPTAC Assay Portal]


AAR&Co , Alex Pico , Martina Summer-Kutmon , Kristina Hanspers , and Eric Weitz


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Homo sapiens



Pathway Ontology

brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling pathway signaling pathway

Cell Type Ontology



Label Type Compact Identifier Comment
DAG Metabolite wikidata:Q161466 diacylglycerol
IP3 Metabolite chemspider:388562 Inositol 1, 4, 5- triphosphate
Ca2+ Metabolite chebi:29108
cAMP Metabolite chebi:17489
BDNF GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000176697
PLCG GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000124181
PI3K GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000105851
TRPC3 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000138741
TRPC6 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000137672
SHC GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000160691
GRB2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000177885
SOS GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000115904
BRAF GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000157764
MEK GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000169032
MAPK/Erk GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000100030
GAB1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000109458
GAB2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000033327
AKT GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000142208
TSC1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000165699
TSC2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000103197
RHEB GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000106615
MTOR GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000198793
p70S6 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000108443
4E-BP1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000187840
Mnk1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000079277
Rsk GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000117676
CREB GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000118260
PSD95 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000132535
NRAS GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000213281
ARC GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000198576
CamMKIII GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000103319
HOMER GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000152413
TrkB GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000148053
Adenyl Cyclase GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000164742
TrkB GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000148053
TrkB GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000148053
NMDAR GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000176884
PSD95 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000132535
PSD95 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000132535
KRAS GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000133703
HRAS GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000174775
PSD95 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000132535
BDNF GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000176697


  1. Postsynaptic BDNF-TrkB signaling in synapse maturation, plasticity, and disease. Yoshii A, Constantine-Paton M. Dev Neurobiol. 2010 Apr;70(5):304–22. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia