Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a protein which functions mainly in the nervous system. It is involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth as well as protecting against inflammation. Variations in the CNTF gene affect the levels of CNTF protein and are associated with body composition and strength gains.
Global population distribution:
Source: 1000 Genome Project. Global averages for both sexes
More about CNTF
THE CNTF GENE
The actions of the ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) protein are mainly localised within the nervous system. It plays a role in the promotion of neurotransmitter synthesis, nerve growth and suppresses the destruction of tissues in response to inflammation. Therefore, CNTF plays a role in protecting against neuronal degeneration.
Upon the binding of CNTF to its receptor, signalling pathways are activated that lead to the formation of proteins involved in the regeneration, survival, proliferation and differentiation of cells involved in the nervous system. Similar to the leptin receptor complex, CNTF is linked to a potential regulatory role in body composition by influencing appetite control, which affects weight loss and weight gain.
The A allele is associated with the reduced expression of CNTF which may lead to a deficiency in the CNTF protein, particularly in those who carry two of this allele.