Poly-arginine and arginine-rich peptides are neuroprotective in stroke models.
ABSTRACT: Using cortical neuronal cultures and glutamic acid excitotoxicity and oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) stroke models, we demonstrated that poly-arginine and arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), are highly neuroprotective, with efficacy increasing with increasing arginine content, have the capacity to reduce glutamic acid-induced neuronal calcium influx and require heparan sulfate preotoglycan-mediated endocytosis to induce a neuroprotective effect. Furthermore, neuroprotection could be induced with immediate peptide treatment or treatment up to 2 to 4 hours before glutamic acid excitotoxicity or OGD, and with poly-arginine-9 (R9) when administered intravenously after stroke onset in a rat model. In contrast, the JNKI-1 peptide when fused to the (non-arginine) kFGF CPP, which does not rely on endocytosis for uptake, was not neuroprotective in the glutamic acid model; the kFGF peptide was also ineffective. Similarly, positively charged poly-lysine-10 (K10) and R9 fused to the negatively charged poly-glutamic acid-9 (E9) peptide (R9/E9) displayed minimal neuroprotection after excitotoxicity. These results indicate that peptide positive charge and arginine residues are critical for neuroprotection, and have led us to hypothesize that peptide-induced endocytic internalization of ion channels is a potential mechanism of action. The findings also question the mode of action of different neuroprotective peptides fused to arginine-rich CPPs.
Project description:We examined the neuroprotective efficacy of the poly-arginine peptide R18 and its D-enantiomer R18D in a perinatal hypoxic-ischaemic (HI) model in P7 Sprague-Dawley rats. R18 and R18D peptides were administered intraperitoneally at doses of 30, 100, 300 or 1000 nmol/kg immediately after HI (8% O2/92%N2 for 2.5 h). The previously characterised neuroprotective JNKI-1-TATD peptide at a dose of 1000 nmol/kg was used as a control. Infarct volume and behavioural outcomes were measured 48 h after HI. For the R18 and R18D doses examined, total infarct volume was reduced by 25.93% to 43.80% (P?=?0.038 to <?0.001). By comparison, the JNKI-1-TATD reduced lesion volume by 25.27% (P?=?0.073). Moreover, R18 and R18D treatment resulted in significant improvements in behavioural outcomes, while with JNKI-1-TATD there was a trend towards improvement. As an insight into the likely mechanism underlying the effects of R18, R18D and JNKI-1-TATD, the peptides were added to cortical neuronal cultures exposed to glutamic acid excitotoxicity, resulting in up to 89, 100 and 71% neuroprotection, respectively, and a dose dependent inhibition of neuronal calcium influx. The study further confirms the neuroprotective properties of poly-arginine peptides, and suggests a potential therapeutic role for R18 and R18D in the treatment of HIE.
Project description:Poly-arginine peptide-18 (R18) has recently emerged as a highly effective neuroprotective agent in experimental stroke models, and is particularly efficacious in protecting cortical neurons against glutamic acid excitotoxicity. While we have previously demonstrated that R18 can reduce excitotoxicity-induced neuronal calcium influx, other molecular events associated with R18 neuroprotection are yet to investigated. Therefore, in this study we were particularly interested in protein expression changes in R18 treated neurons subjected to excitotoxicity. Proteomic analysis was used to compare protein expression patterns in primary cortical neuronal cultures subjected to: (i) R18-treatment alone (R18); (ii) glutamic acid excitotoxic injury (Glut); (iii) R18-treatment and glutamic acid injury (R18?+?Glut); (iv) no treatment (Cont). Whole cell lysates were harvested 24?h post-injury and subjected to quantitative proteomic analysis (iTRAQ), coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and subsequent bioinformatic analysis of differentially expressed proteins (DEPs). Relative to control cultures, R18, Glut, and R18?+?Glut treatment resulted in the detection of 5, 95 and 14 DEPs respectively. Compared to Glut alone, R18?+?Glut revealed 98 DEPs, including 73 proteins whose expression was also altered by treatment with Glut and/or R18 alone, as well as 25 other uniquely regulated proteins. R18 treatment reversed the up- or down-regulation of all 73 Glut-associated DEPs, which included proteins involved in mitochondrial integrity, ATP generation, mRNA processing and protein translation. Analysis of protein-protein interactions of the 73 DEPs showed they were primarily associated with mitochondrial respiration, proteasome activity and protein synthesis, transmembrane trafficking, axonal growth and neuronal differentiation, and carbohydrate metabolism. Identified protein pathways associated with proteostasis and energy metabolism, and with pathways involved in neurodegeneration. Collectively, the findings indicate that R18 neuroprotection following excitotoxicity is associated with preservation of neuronal protein profiles, and differential protein expression that assists in maintaining mitochondrial function and energy production, protein homeostasis, and membrane trafficking.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) including arginine-rich peptides are attracting a lot of attention due to their potential as a novel intracellular drug delivery tool without substantial toxicity. On the other hand, disease-associated arginine-rich CPPs, such as poly-PR and poly-GR translated from C9orf72 gene, also efficiently enter neuronal cells and then kill them. Although both non-harmful CPPs and harmful poly-PR/GR penetrate the plasma membrane using same arginine residues, little is known about the factors which determine the toxicity of the pathogenic CPPs. Here, we show that poly-PR and poly-GR, but not other Arg-rich CPPs, specifically distributed to nucleolus via interaction with RNA. Importantly, C9orf72-dipeptides, but not other Arg-rich CPPs, caused inhibition of protein translation and cell death. Raising extracellular pH enhanced the cell penetration of poly-PR. The repeat number of (PR) affected the secondary structure and determined the intracellular delivery rate and neurotoxicity, and enforced intracellular delivery of non-penetrating short poly-PR peptide caused cell death, suggesting that modulation of extracellular environment to inhibit the uptake of Arg-rich dipeptides might be a drug target against poly-PR/GR-mediated neurotoxicity.
Project description:Glutamate induced excitotoxicity is common in diverse neurological disorders. RNF146 as an E3 ubiquitin ligase protects neurons against excitotoxicity via interfering with Poly (ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer-induced cell death (parthanatos). However, the neuroprotective role of RNF146 has not been fully understood. We aimed to investigate the role of RNF146 in modulating autophagy in HT22 cells under glutamate excitotoxicity injury. Here we found that induction of RNF146 decreased the cellular damage and excitotoxicity induced by glutamate. RNF146 also suppressed the excessive autophagy, which is detrimental to HT22 cells survival, induced by glutamate or rapamycin treatment. In addition, we find that Wnt/?-catenin was a negative regulation factor for autophagy in glutamate excitotoxicity. Over-expression of RNF146 promoted Wnt/?-catenin signaling, which was related to destabilization of ?-catenin destruction complex. These results indicated that RNF146 acted as a neuroprotective agent against glutamate-induced excitatory damage, and this neuroprotection might be at least partly dependent on the inhibition of excessive autophagy by regulating Wnt/?-catenin signaling.
Project description:Kinase D-interacting substrate of 220?kDa (Kidins220), also known as ankyrin repeat-rich membrane spanning (ARMS), has a central role in the coordination of receptor crosstalk and the integration of signaling pathways essential for neuronal differentiation, survival and function. This protein is a shared downstream effector for neurotrophin- and ephrin-receptors signaling that also interacts with the N-methyl-d-aspartate type of glutamate receptors (NMDARs). Failures in neurotrophic support and glutamate signaling are involved in pathologies related to excitotoxicity and/or neurodegeneration, where different components of these dynamic protein complexes result altered by a combination of mechanisms. In the case of Kidins220/ARMS, overactivation of NMDARs in excitotoxicity and cerebral ischemia triggers its downregulation, which contributes to neuronal death. This key role in neuronal life/death decisions encouraged us to investigate Kidins220/ARMS as a novel therapeutic target for neuroprotection. As the main mechanism of Kidins220/ARMS downregulation in excitotoxicity is proteolysis by calpain, we decided to develop cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) that could result in neuroprotection by interference of this processing. To this aim, we first analyzed in detail Kidins220/ARMS cleavage produced in vitro and in vivo, identifying a major calpain processing site in its C-terminal region (between amino acids 1669 and 1670) within a sequence motif highly conserved in vertebrates. Then, we designed a 25-amino acids CPP (Tat-K) containing a short Kidins220/ARMS sequence enclosing the identified calpain site (amino acids 1668-1681) fused to the HIV-1 Tat protein basic domain, able to confer membrane permeability to attached cargoes. Transduction of cortical neurons with Tat-K reduced Kidins220/ARMS calpain processing in a dose- and time-dependent manner upon excitotoxic damage and allowed preservation of the activity of pERK1/2 and pCREB, signaling molecules central to neuronal survival and functioning. Importantly, these effects were associated to a significant increase in neuronal viability. This Kidins220/ARMS-derived peptide merits further research to develop novel neuroprotective therapies for excitotoxicity-associated pathologies.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have gained attention as promising tools to enable the delivery of various molecules in a non-invasive manner. Among the CPPs, TAT and poly-arginine have been extensively utilized in numerous studies for the delivery of functional proteins, peptides, and macromolecules to analyze cellular signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms of cellular entry remain largely unknown. Here, we applied siRNA library screening to identify the regulatory genes for the cellular entry of poly-arginine peptide based on microscopic observation of the entry of fluorescent peptides in siRNA-treated cells. In this screening, we identified the cell membrane gene SLC4A4 and the trafficking regulator gene COPA, which also plays an important role in early endosome maturation. These results demonstrated that cellular entry of poly-arginine requires at least two different steps, probably binding on the cell surface and endosomal entry. The identification of genes for cellular entry of poly-arginine provides insights into its mechanisms and should further aid in the development of highly efficient cell-penetrating peptides.
Project description:The plasma membrane plays an essential role in selective permeability, compartmentalization, osmotic balance, and cellular uptake. The characteristics and functions of cyanobacterial membranes have been extensively investigated in recent years. Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are special nanocarriers that can overcome the plasma membrane barrier and enter cells directly, either alone or with associated cargoes. However, the cellular entry mechanisms of CPPs in cyanobacteria have not been studied.In the present study, we determine CPP-mediated transduction efficiency and internalization mechanisms in cyanobacteria using a combination of biological and biophysical methods. We demonstrate that both Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 strains of cyanobacteria possess red autofluorescence. Green fluorescent protein (GFP), either alone or noncovalently associated with a CPP comprised of nine arginine residues (R9/GFP complexes), entered cyanobacteria. The ATP-depleting inhibitor of classical endocytosis, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), could block the spontaneous internalization of GFP, but not the transduction of R9/GFP complexes. Three specific inhibitors of macropinocytosis, cytochalasin D (CytD), 5-(N-ethyl-N-isopropyl)-amiloride (EIPA), and wortmannin, reduced the efficiency of R9/GFP complex transduction, indicating that entry of R9/GFP complexes involves macropinocytosis. Both the 1-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-3,5-diphenylformazan (MTT) and membrane leakage analyses confirmed that R9/GFP complexes were not toxic to the cyanobacteria, nor were the endocytic and macropinocytic inhibitors used in these studies.In summary, we have demonstrated that cyanobacteria use classical endocytosis and macropinocytosis to internalize exogenous GFP and CPP/GFP proteins, respectively. Moreover, the CPP-mediated delivery system is not toxic to cyanobacteria, and can be used to investigate biological processes at the cellular level in this species. These results suggest that both endocytic and macropinocytic pathways can be used for efficient internalization of regular protein and CPP-mediated protein delivery in cyanobacteria, respectively.
Project description:We describe an immunosuppressive peptide corresponding to the kinase inhibitory region (KIR) of the intracellular checkpoint protein suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS-1) that binds to the phospho-tyrosine containing regions of the tyrosine kinases JAK2 and TYK2 and the adaptor protein MAL, and thereby inhibits signaling downstream from these signaling mediators. The peptide, SOCS1-KIR, is thus capable of downregulating overactive JAK/STAT or NF-kB signaling in somatic cells, including those in many compartments of the eye. Attachment of poly-arginine to this peptide (R9-SOCS1-KIR) allows it to penetrate the plasma membrane in aqueous media. R9-SOCS1-KIR was tested in ARPE-19?cells and was found to attenuate mediators of inflammation by blocking the inflammatory effects of IFN?, TNF?, or IL-17A. R9-SOCS1-KIR and also protected against TNF? or IL-17A mediated damage to the barrier properties of ARPE-19?cells, as evidenced by immunostaining with the tight junction protein, zona occludin 1 (ZO-1), and measurement of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER). Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) was generated in B10. RIII mice using a peptide of interphotoreceptor retinal binding protein (IRBP161-180) as immunogen. Topical administration of R9-SOCS1-KIR, 2 days before (prophylactic), or 7 days after immunization (therapeutic) protected ocular structure and function as seen by fundoscopy, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and electroretinography (ERG). The ability R9-SOCS1-KIR to suppress ocular inflammation and preserve barrier properties of retinal pigment epithelium makes it a potential candidate for treatment of autoimmune uveitis.
Project description:This work aimed at formulating paclitaxel (PTX) loaded cell penetrating peptide (CPP) coated Mn doped ZnS nanoparticles (Mn:ZnS NPs) for improved anti-cancer efficacy in vitro and in vivo. The developed PTX loaded Mn:ZnS NPs with different CPPs (PEN, pVEC and R9) showed enhanced anti-cancer effect compared to bare PTX, which has been validated by MTT assay followed by apoptosis assay and DNA fragmentation analysis. The in vivo bio-distribution and anti-cancer efficacy was studied on breast cancer xenograft model showing maximum tumor localization and enhanced therapeutic efficacy with R9 coated Mn:ZnS NPs (R9:Mn:ZnS NPs) and was confirmed by H/E staining. Thus, R9:Mn:ZnS NPs could be an ideal theranostic nano-carrier for PTX with enhanced the rapeutic efficacy toward cancer cells, where penetration and sustainability of therapeutics are essential.
Project description:Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are able to transport hydrophilic molecules inside cells. To reach the cytosol, the peptide associated with a cargo must cross the plasma or the endosomal membrane. Different molecular mechanisms for peptide internalisation into cells have been proposed and it is becoming clear that the cellular internalisation mechanisms are different depending on the peptide sequence and structure and the target membrane. Herein, the penetration of three peptides into large unilamellar vesicles were studied: the homeodomain derived 16-residues penetratin, nona-arginine (R9), and a small peptide containing 6 arginine and 3 tryptophan residues (RW9). The membrane models were composed of phospholipids from natural sources containing different molecular species. We observed that among the three peptides, only the amphipathic peptide RW9 was able to cross the membrane vesicles in the liquid disordered state. The changes in the distribution of the previously characterized cholesterol-pyrene probe show that cholesterol-pyrene molecules dissociate from clusters upon membrane interaction with the three peptides and that the cholesterol environment becomes more disordered in the presence of RW9. Finally, we studied the effect of the peptides on lipid ordering on giant plasma membrane vesicles. The amphipathic peptides RW9 and its longer homologue RW16 induced lipid de-packing in plasma membrane vesicles. Overall, the data suggest that a disordered membrane favours the translocation of RW9, that the membrane cholesterol is redistributed during peptide interaction, and that the peptide amphipathic character is important to increase membrane fluidity and peptide membrane translocation.