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Papers of the Week

2019 May 25

Chem Biol Interact


CRMP2-derived peptide ST2-104 (R9-CBD3) protects SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells against Aβ-induced neurotoxicity by inhibiting the pCRMP2/NMDAR2B signaling pathway.



Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2),by regulating voltage-gated calcium channel activity, is a crucial regulator of neuronal excitability. Hyperphosphorylation of CRMP2 has been reported in brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and other neurodegenerative diseases. CRMP2 acting on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) may contribute to AD pathology. A short peptide from CRMP2, designated the Ca channel-binding domain 3 (CBD3) peptide, has recently emerged as a Ca channel blocker that exerts neuroprotective effects in traumatic brain injury and cerebral ischemia by disrupting pCRMP2/NMDAR interaction to inhibit calcium influx. ST2-104, a nona-arginine (R9)-conjugated CBD3 peptide derived from CRMP2, exerts a beneficial effect on neuropathic pain; however, the effect of ST2-104 on AD and its mechanism of action have not been studied. In this study we investigated the effects of ST2-104 on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells stimulated by Aβ. To induce neurotoxicity, SH-SY5Y cells were incubated with Aβ, the shortest toxic fragment of Aβ. CRMP2 expression was manipulated by knockdown or overexpression of CRMP2 before ST2-104 treatment to further explore if the pCRMP2/NMDAR2B signaling pathway is involved in the action of the ST2-104 peptide. The results show that ST2-104 significantly enhanced cell viability, inhibited cell apoptosis, decreased LDH release, suppressed the expression of the pCRMP2 protein, disrupted pCRMP2/NMDAR2B interaction, inhibited Aβ-induced NMDAR currents, and decreased intracellular Ca levels. The effects of ST2-104 was abolished by overexpression of CRMP2 and intensified by knockdown of CRMP2 in SH-SY5Y cells. Taken together, our results support ST2-104 as a possible biologic therapeutic in the face of Aβ-induced injury via the inhibition of the pCRMP2/NMDAR2B signaling pathway.