Nerve growth factor is important for the development and maintenance of the sympathetic and sensory nervous systems. Extracellular ligand for the NTRK1 and NGFR receptors, activates cellular signaling cascades to regulate neuronal proliferation, differentiation and survival. The immature NGF precursor (proNGF) functions as ligand for the heterodimeric receptor formed by SORCS2 and NGFR, and activates cellular signaling cascades that lead to inactivation of RAC1 and/or RAC2, reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and neuronal growth cone collapse. In contrast to mature NGF, the precursor form (proNGF) promotes neuronal apoptosis (in vitro). Inhibits metalloproteinase-dependent proteolysis of platelet glycoprotein VI. Binds lysophosphatidylinositol and lysophosphatidylserine between the two chains of the homodimer. The lipid-bound form promotes histamine relase from mast cells, contrary to the lipid-free form.