Galanin decreases proliferation of PC12 cells and induces apoptosis via its subtype 2 receptor (GalR2).
ABSTRACT: Galanin is a neuropeptide with a wide range of effects in the nervous and endocrine systems, mediated through three G protein-coupled receptor subtypes (GalR1-3). Interestingly, galanin and its receptors are also expressed in certain tumors. Here we studied the effects of galanin in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells stably transfected with GFP-tagged GalR2. Galanin at 100 nM inhibited cell proliferation in both nontransfected and transfected cells. Conversly, both galanin and the GalR2(R3)-agonist AR-M1896 induced caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death only in GalR2-transfected cells. Western-blot analyses of downstream mediators of the G(q/11)-type G protein showed down-regulation of pAkt and pBad in galanin-exposed transfected cells. Also, the specific PI3 kinase inhibitor LY-294002 increased the level of pBad and decreased activation of caspases. In addition, p21(cip1) levels were up-regulated in galanin-exposed PC12 cells and down-regulated in galanin-exposed GalR2-transfected cells. In agreement, FACS analyses of galanin exposed cells showed occurrence of cell cycle arrest in PC12 cells and cell death in transfected cells. Finally, as shown with real-time PCR, galanin and its receptors were expressed at very high levels in human pheochromocytoma tissues as compared with normal adrenal medulla. These findings point to GalR2 as a possible target for therapeuthic interventions in pheochromocytoma.
Project description:Galanin modulates seizures in the brain through two galanin receptor subtypes, GalR1 and GalR2. To generate systemically active galanin receptor ligands that discriminate between GalR1 and GalR2, the GalR1-preferring analogue Gal-B2 (or NAX 5055) was rationally redesigned to yield GalR2-preferring analogues. Systematic truncations of the N-terminal backbone led to [N-Me,des-Sar]Gal-B2, containing N-methyltryptophan. This analogue exhibited 18-fold preference in binding toward GalR2, maintained agonist activity, and exhibited potent anticonvulsant activity in mice following intraperitoneal administration.
Project description:Galanin is a neuropeptide implicated in the regulation of feeding, reproduction, cognition, nociception, and seizure susceptibility. There are three known galanin receptor (GALR) subtypes (GALR1, GALR2, and GALR3), which bind to galanin with different affinities and have their own unique distributions, signaling mechanisms, and putative functions in the brain and peripheral nervous system. To gain further insight into the possible physiological significance of GALR2, we created mutant mice that were deficient in GALR2 and compared their phenotype to that of wild-type (WT) littermate or age-matched controls, with respect to basic motor and sensory function, feeding behavior, reproduction, mood, learning and memory, and seizure susceptibility. Phenotypic analysis revealed that animals bearing a deletion of GALR2 did not differ significantly from their WT controls in any of the measured variables. We conclude that either GALR2 plays no role in these physiological functions or through redundancy or compensation these mutant animals can adapt to the congenital absence of GALR2. It is also conceivable that GALR2 plays only a subtle role in some of these functions and that the impact of its loss could not be detected by the analytical procedures used here.
Project description:Potential clinical utility of galanin or peptidic analogs has been hindered by poor metabolic stability, lack of brain penetration, and hyperglycemia due to galanin receptor subtype 1 (GalR1) activation. NAX 810-2, a galanin receptor subtype 2 (GalR2)-preferring galanin analog, possesses 15-fold greater affinity for GalR2 over GalR1 and protects against seizures in the mouse 6 Hz, corneal kindling, and Frings audiogenic seizure models. The purpose of these studies was to further evaluate the preclinical efficacy and pharmacokinetics of NAX 810-2 in mice.NAX 810-2 was administered by intravenous (i.v.; tail vein, bolus) injection to fully kindled (corneal kindling assay) or naive CF-1 mice (6 Hz assay and pharmacokinetic studies). Plasma NAX 810-2 levels were determined from trunk blood samples. NAX 810-2 was also added to human plasma at various concentrations for determination of plasma protein binding.In the mouse corneal kindling model, NAX 810-2 dose-dependently blocked seizures following intravenous administration (median effective dose [ED50 ], 0.5 mg/kg). In the mouse 6 Hz (32 mA) seizure model, it was demonstrated that NAX 810-2 dose-dependently blocked seizures following bolus administration (0.375-1.5 mg/kg, i.v.; ED50 , 0.7 mg/kg), with a time-to-peak effect of 0.5 h posttreatment. Motor impairment was observed at 1.5 mg/kg, i.v., whereas one-half of this dose, 0.75 mg/kg, i.v., was maximally effective in the 6 Hz test. Plasma levels of NAX 810-2 show linear pharmacokinetics following intravenous administration and a half-life of 1.2 h. Functional agonist activity studies demonstrate that NAX 810-2 effectively activates GalR2 at therapeutic concentrations.These studies further suggest the potential utility of NAX 810-2 as a novel therapy for epilepsy.
Project description:Galanin effects are mediated by three G-protein-coupled receptors: galanin receptor 1 (GalR1), GalR2 and GalR3. We quantified mRNA levels of GalR1, GalR2 and GalR3 in the rat stomach, small and large intestine using real-time RT-PCR. All three GalR mRNAs were detected throughout the gut at different levels. GalR1 and GalR2 mRNA levels were higher in the large than in the small intestine. GalR2 mRNA was most abundant in the stomach. GalR3 mRNA levels were generally quite low. The differential regional distribution of GalRs suggests that the complex effects of galanin in the gut are the result of activating multiple receptor subtypes, whose density, subtype and signaling vary along the gastrointestinal tract.
Project description:The neuropeptide galanin has been shown to alter the rewarding properties of morphine. To identify potential cellular mechanisms that might be involved in the ability of galanin to modulate opiate reward, we measured excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs), using both field and whole-cell recordings from striatal brain slices extracted from wild-type mice and mice lacking specific galanin receptor (GalR) subtypes. We found that galanin decreased the amplitude of EPSPs in both the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens. We then performed recordings in slices from knockout mice lacking either the GalR1 or GalR2 gene, and found that the ability of galanin to decrease EPSP amplitude was absent from both mouse lines, suggesting that both receptor subtypes are required for this effect. In order to determine whether behavioral responses to opiates were dependent on the same receptor subtypes, we tested GalR1 and GalR2 knockout mice for morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). Morphine CPP was significantly attenuated in both GalR1 and GalR2 knockout mice. These data suggest that mesolimbic excitatory signaling is significantly modulated by galanin in a GalR1-dependent and GalR2-dependent manner, and that morphine CPP is dependent on the same receptor subtypes.
Project description:Using riboprobe in situ hybridization, we studied the localization of the transcripts for the neuropeptide galanin and its receptors (GalR1-R3), tryptophan hydroxylase 2, tyrosine hydroxylase, and nitric oxide synthase as well as the three vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT 1-3) in the locus coeruleus (LC) and the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) regions of postmortem human brains. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) was used also. Galanin and GalR3 mRNA were found in many noradrenergic LC neurons, and GalR3 overlapped with serotonin neurons in the DRN. The qPCR analysis at the LC level ranked the transcripts in the following order in the LC: galanin >> GalR3 >> GalR1 > GalR2; in the DRN the ranking was galanin >> GalR3 >> GalR1 = GalR2. In forebrain regions the ranking was GalR1 > galanin > GalR2. VGLUT1 and -2 were strongly expressed in the pontine nuclei but could not be detected in LC or serotonin neurons. VGLUT2 transcripts were found in very small, nonpigmented cells in the LC and in the lateral and dorsal aspects of the periaqueductal central gray. Nitric oxide synthase was not detected in serotonin neurons. These findings show distinct differences between the human brain and rodents, especially rat, in the distribution of the galanin system and some other transmitter systems. For example, GalR3 seems to be the important galanin receptor in both the human LC and DRN versus GalR1 and -2 in the rodent brain. Such knowledge may be important when considering therapeutic principles and drug development.
Project description:The novel neuropeptide spexin (SPX) was discovered to activate galanin receptor 2 (GALR2) and 3 (GALR3) but not galanin receptor 1 (GALR1). Although GALR2 is known to display a function, particularly in anxiety, depression, and appetite regulation, the further determination of its function would benefit from a more stable and selective agonist that acts only at GALR2. In the present study, we developed a GALR2-specific agonist with increased stability in serum. As galanin (GAL) showed a low affinity to GALR3, the residues in SPX were replaced with those in GAL, revealing that particular mutations such as Gln5 → Asn, Met7 → Ala, Lys11 → Phe, and Ala13 → Pro significantly decreased potencies toward GALR3 but not toward GALR2. Quadruple (Qu) mutation of these residues still retained potency to GALR2 but totally abolished the potency to both GALR3 and GALR1. The first amino acid modifications or D-Asn1 substitution significantly increased the stability when they are incubated in 100% fetal bovine serum. Intracerebroventricular administration of the mutant peptide with D-Asn1 and quadruple substitution (dN1-Qu) exhibited an anxiolytic effect in mice. Taken together, the GALR2-specific agonist with increased stability can greatly help delineation of GALR2-mediated functions and be very useful for treatments of anxiety disorder.
Project description:Galanin is a 30 amino-acid active neuropeptide that acts via three G-protein coupled galanin receptors, GALR1, GALR2 and GALR3. Recently, GALR1 was also suggested as a tumor suppressor gene that was frequently silenced in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; moreover, galanin and GALR1 were reported to inhibit human oral cancer cell proliferation. However, the exact role of galanin in gastric cancer is unclear. Here, we describe the epigenetic silencing of galanin in human gastric cancer. Five gastric cancer cell lines (SNU-1, SNU-601, SNU-638, KATOIII, and AGS) showed a significant reduction in galanin expression that was restored by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. We confirmed the hypermethylation of CpG islands in the galanin promoter region by methylation-specific and bisulfate sequencing polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Interestingly, hypermethylated galanin did not affect galanin receptor expression. Exogenous galanin expression in silenced cells induced apoptosis and decreased phosphorylated Akt expression. Taken together, these data suggest that galanin hypermethylation impairs its tumor suppressor function in gastric cancer carcinogenesis.
Project description:Inhibition of calcium channels by G-protein-coupled receptors depends on the nature of the Galpha subunit, although the Gbetagamma complex is thought to be responsible for channel inhibition. Ca currents in hypothalamic neurons and N-type calcium channels expressed in HEK-293 cells showed robust inhibition by G(i)/G(o)-coupled galanin receptors (GalR1), but not by Gq-coupled galanin receptors (GalR2). However, deletions in the C terminus of alpha(1B-1) produced Ca channels that were inhibited after activation of both GalR1 and GalR2. Inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) also revealed Ca current modulation by GalR2. Imaging studies using green fluorescent protein fusions of the C terminus of alpha(1B) demonstrated that activation of the GalR2 receptor caused translocation of the C terminus of alpha(1B-1) to the membrane and co-localization with Galphaq and PKC. Similar translocation was not seen with a C-terminal truncated splice variant, alpha(1B-2). Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that Galphaq interacts directly with the C terminus of the alpha(1B) subunit. These results are consistent with a model in which local activation of PKC by channel-associated Galphaq blocks modulation of the channel by Gbetagamma released by Gq-coupled receptors.
Project description:GnRH neurons are regulated by hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons. Recently, galanin was identified in a subpopulation of kisspeptin neurons. Although the literature thoroughly describes kisspeptin activation of GnRH neurons, little is known about the effects of galanin on GnRH neurons. This study investigated whether galanin could alter kisspeptin signaling to GnRH neurons. GnRH cells maintained in explants, known to display spontaneous calcium oscillations, and a long-lasting calcium response to kisspeptin-10 (kp-10), were used. First, transcripts for galanin receptors (GalRs) were examined. Only GalR1 was found in GnRH neurons. A series of experiments was then performed to determine the action of galanin on kp-10 activated GnRH neurons. Applied after kp-10 activation, galanin 1-16 (Gal1-16) rapidly suppressed kp-10 activation. Applied with kp-10, Gal1-16 prevented kp-10 activation until its removal. To determine the mechanism by which galanin inhibited kp-10 activation of GnRH neurons, Gal1-16 and galanin were applied to spontaneously active GnRH neurons. Both inhibited GnRH neuronal activity, independent of GnRH neuronal inputs. This inhibition was mimicked by a GalR1 agonist but not by GalR2 or GalR2/3 agonists. Although Gal1-16 inhibition relied on Gi/o signaling, it was independent of cAMP levels but sensitive to blockers of G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels. A newly developed bioassay for GnRH detection showed Gal1-16 decreased the kp-10-evoked GnRH secretion below detection threshold. Together, this study shows that galanin is a potent regulator of GnRH neurons, possibly acting as a physiological break to kisspeptin excitation.