Full Name: Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor

Genomic Location: Chromosome 11:27,654,893-27,722,058

Protein Size: 247 amino acids


This gene encodes a member of the nerve growth factor family of proteins. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants, at least one of which encodes a preproprotein that is proteolytically processed to generate the mature protein. Binding of this protein to its cognate receptor promotes neuronal survival in the adult brain.

During development, promotes the survival and differentiation of selected neuronal populations of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Participates in axonal growth, pathfinding and in the modulation of dendritic growth and morphology. Major regulator of synaptic transmission and plasticity at adult synapses in many regions of the CNS. The versatility of BDNF is emphasized by its contribution to a range of adaptive neuronal responses including long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), certain forms of short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as homeostatic regulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability

Expression of this gene is reduced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease patients. This gene may play a role in the regulation of the stress response and in the biology of mood disorders.

Linked SNP(s):

  • rs6265 is linked to BDNF, it is located in the protein coding region of the gene.
  • Population frequencies are approximately 81% for the reference allele (G) and 19% for the alternate allele (A).
  • Studies suggest the A allele is associated with increased anxiety, reduced resilience, and more time spent exercising. 
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