Contributes to the maintenance of intracerebral BDNF levels within the normal range, which is necessary for the preservation of spatial learning and the resistance to neuronal cell death caused by ischemic stress. May enhance growth factor-induced ERK1 and ERK2 phosphorylation, including that induced by PDGF and FGF. May attenuate NGF-promoted ELK1 phosphorylation in a microtubule-dependent manner. Expressed predominantly in brain and heart. In the brain, detected in astrocytes. Isoform 1 and isoform 2 are only expressed in brain. Isoform 3 is expressed in both heart and brain. Up-regulated in glioblastoma multiforme cells. Belongs to the NDRG family. 6 isoforms of the human protein are produced by alternative splicing. Note: This description may include information from UniProtKB.