Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a neurotrophic factor belonging to the TGF-beta super family and is necessary for neuron survival and phenotypic maintenance in the central and peripheral nervous systems. G-DNF has the potential to support the differentiation and survival of many neuron subpopulations, especially dopaminergic neurons and motor neurons, as well as Purkinje cells and sympathetic neurons. Sertoli cells, type 1 astrocytes, Schwann cells, neurons, pinealocytes and skeletal muscle cells are known to express GDNF in human. GDNF has been shown to interact with GFRA2 and GDNF family receptor alpha 1. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Hirschsprung's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The recombinant human G-DNF expressed in E.coli is a disulfide-linked homo-dimer, with an apparent molecular weight of 17 kDa.