- Professor, Pharmacology
- Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
- Professor, Anesthesiology
- Professor, BIO5 Institute
- Ph.D. Physiology
- University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Expression, roles and regulation of potassium channels in neuroimmune cells
- M.S. Pharmacology
- University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Constitutive embryonic and fetal expression of xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochrome P450s: CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and CYP1B1
- B.S. Toxicology
- University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Distinguished Faculty Mentor, New Faculty Mentoring Program
- UA, Fall 2017
- Outstanding Faculty Mentor
- Undergraduate Biology Research Program, Spring 2017
- UA Excellence in Mentoring Award
- Honors College, UA, Spring 2017
No activities entered.
NeuropharmacolgyPHCL 553 (Spring 2019)
Directed ResearchBME 492 (Fall 2018)
Directed RsrchMCB 392 (Fall 2018)
Directed RsrchMCB 492 (Fall 2018)
Honors Independent StudyMCB 399H (Fall 2018)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 199H (Fall 2018)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 399H (Fall 2018)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 499H (Fall 2018)
Honors ThesisBIOC 498H (Fall 2018)
Honors ThesisNSCS 498H (Fall 2018)
Honors ThesisPSIO 498H (Fall 2018)
Pharmacology: Gen. PrinciplesPHCL 601A (Fall 2018)
Senior CapstoneBIOC 498 (Summer I 2018)
Directed ResearchBIOC 492 (Spring 2018)
Honors Independent StudyMCB 499H (Spring 2018)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 399H (Spring 2018)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 499H (Spring 2018)
Honors Independent StudyPSIO 399H (Spring 2018)
Honors Independent StudyPSIO 499H (Spring 2018)
Honors ThesisNSCS 498H (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyMIC 399 (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyNSCS 499 (Spring 2018)
Introduction to ResearchMCB 795A (Spring 2018)
NeuropharmacolgyPHCL 553 (Spring 2018)
Senior CapstoneBIOC 498 (Spring 2018)
Honors Independent StudyBME 299H (Fall 2017)
Honors Independent StudyMCB 499H (Fall 2017)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 399H (Fall 2017)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 499H (Fall 2017)
Honors Independent StudyPSIO 399H (Fall 2017)
Honors Independent StudyPSIO 499H (Fall 2017)
Honors ThesisNSCS 498H (Fall 2017)
Independent StudyMCB 399 (Fall 2017)
Pharmacology: Gen. PrinciplesPHCL 601A (Fall 2017)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioCMM 588 (Fall 2017)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioEIS 588 (Fall 2017)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioMCB 588 (Fall 2017)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioNRSC 588 (Fall 2017)
Directed ResearchBIOC 392 (Spring 2017)
Honors Independent StudyBIOC 299H (Spring 2017)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 399H (Spring 2017)
Honors Independent StudyPSIO 499H (Spring 2017)
Methods In NeuroscienceNRSC 700 (Spring 2017)
Directed ResearchBIOC 392 (Fall 2016)
Honors Independent StudyNSCS 399H (Fall 2016)
Honors Independent StudyPSIO 399H (Fall 2016)
Pharmacology: Gen. PrinciplesPHCL 601A (Fall 2016)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioBIOC 588 (Fall 2016)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioMCB 588 (Fall 2016)
Prin Cell+Molec NeurobioNRSC 588 (Fall 2016)
- Parker, S. S., Moutal, A., Cai, S., Chandrasekaran, S., Roman, M. R., Koshy, A. A., Khanna, R., Zinsmaier, K. E., & Mouneimne, G. (2019). High Fidelity Cryopreservation and Recovery of Primary Rodent Cortical Neurons. eNeuro, 5(5).More infoCell cryopreservation improves reproducibility and enables flexibility in experimental design. Although conventional freezing methodologies have been used to preserve primary neurons, poor cell viability and reduced survival severely limited their utility. We screened several high-performance freezing media and found that CryoStor10 (CS10) provided superior cryoprotection to primary mouse embryonic cortical neurons compared to other commercially-available or traditional reagents, permitting the recovery of 68.8% of cells relative to a fresh dissection. We characterized developmental, morphometric, and functional indicators of neuron maturation and found that, without exception, neurons recovered from cryostorage in CS10 media faithfully recapitulate neurodevelopment in-step with neurons obtained by fresh dissection. Our method establishes cryopreserved neurons as a reliable, efficient, and equivalent model to fresh neuron cultures.
- Alberio, L., Locarno, A., Saponaro, A., Romano, E., Bercier, V., Albadri, S., Simeoni, F., Moleri, S., Pelucchi, S., Porro, A., Marcello, E., Barsotti, N., Kukovetz, K., Boender, A. J., Contestabile, A., Luo, S., Moutal, A., Ji, Y., Romani, G., , Beltrame, M., et al. (2018). A light-gated potassium channel for sustained neuronal inhibition. Nature methods, 15(11), 969-976.More infoCurrently available inhibitory optogenetic tools provide short and transient silencing of neurons, but they cannot provide long-lasting inhibition because of the requirement for high light intensities. Here we present an optimized blue-light-sensitive synthetic potassium channel, BLINK2, which showed good expression in neurons in three species. The channel is activated by illumination with low doses of blue light, and in our experiments it remained active over (tens of) minutes in the dark after the illumination was stopped. This activation caused long periods of inhibition of neuronal firing in ex vivo recordings of mouse neurons and impaired motor neuron response in zebrafish in vivo. As a proof-of-concept application, we demonstrated that in a freely moving rat model of neuropathic pain, the activation of a small number of BLINK2 channels caused a long-lasting (>30 min) reduction in pain sensation.
- Cai, S., Bellampalli, S. S., Yu, J., Li, W., Ji, Y., Wijeratne, E. M., Dorame, A., Luo, S., Shan, Z., Khanna, M., Moutal, A., Streicher, J. M., Gunatilaka, A. A., & Khanna, R. (2018). (-)-Hardwickiic acid and Hautriwaic acid induce antinociception via blockade of tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-dependent sodium channels. ACS chemical neuroscience.More infoFor an affliction that debilitates an estimated 50 million of U.S. adults, the current chronic pain management approaches are inadequate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for a minimization in opioid prescription and use for chronic pain conditions, and thus, it is imperative to discover alternative non-opioid based strategies. For the realization of this call, a library of natural products was screened in search of pharmacological inhibitors of both voltage-gated calcium channels and voltage-gated sodium channels, excellent targets due to their well-established roles in nociceptive pathways. We discovered (-)-hardwickiic acid ((-)-HDA) and hautriwaic acid (HTA) isolated from plants, Croton californicus and Eremocarpus setigerus, respectively, inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium, but not calcium or potassium, channels in small diameter, presumptively nociceptive, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Failure to inhibit spontaneous post-synaptic excitatory currents indicated a preferential targeting of voltage-gated sodium channels over voltage-gated calcium channels by these extracts. Neither compound was a ligand at opioid receptors. Finally, we identified the potential of both (-)-HDA and HTA to reverse chronic pain behavior in preclinical rat models of HIV-sensory neuropathy, and for (-)-HDA specifically, in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Our results illustrate the therapeutic potential for (-)-HDA and HTA for chronic pain management and could represent a scaffold, that, if optimized by structure-activity relationship studies, may yield novel specific sodium channel antagonists for pain relief.
- Chew, L. A., & Khanna, R. (2018). CRMP2 and voltage-gated ion channels: potential roles in neuropathic pain. Neuronal signaling, 2(1).More infoNeuropathic pain represents a significant and mounting burden on patients and society at large. Management of neuropathic pain, however, is both intricate and challenging, exacerbated by the limited quantity and quality of clinically available treatments. On this stage, dysfunctional voltage-gated ion channels, especially the presynaptic N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (Cav2.2) and the tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav1.7), underlie the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain and serve as high profile therapeutic targets. Indirect regulation of these channels holds promise for the treatment of neuropathic pain. In this review, we focus on collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), a protein with emergent roles in voltage-gated ion channel trafficking and discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting this protein.
- Khanna, R., Parker, S. S., Khanna, M., Hammer, M., Rice, S. A., & Nelson, M. A. (2018). A Novel Variant of the TAF1 Gene Associated with Cerebellar Atrophy Discovered Using Genomic and Transcriptomic Sequencing. Neuronal Signaling, 2(3).
- Quach, T. T., Auvergnon, N., Khanna, R., Belin, M. F., Kolattukudy, P. E., Honnorat, J., & Duchemin, A. M. (2018). Opposing Morphogenetic Defects on Dendrites and Mossy Fibers of Dentate Granular Neurons in CRMP3-Deficient Mice. Brain sciences, 8(11).More infoCollapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are highly expressed in the brain during early postnatal development and continue to be present in specific regions into adulthood, especially in areas with extensive neuronal plasticity including the hippocampus. They are found in the axons and dendrites of neurons wherein they contribute to specific signaling mechanisms involved in the regulation of axonal and dendritic development/maintenance. We previously identified CRMP3's role on the morphology of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal dendrites and hippocampus-dependent functions. Our focus here was to further analyze its role in the dentate gyrus where it is highly expressed during development and in adults. On the basis of our new findings, it appears that CRMP3 has critical roles both in axonal and dendritic morphogenesis of dentate granular neurons. In CRMP3-deficient mice, the dendrites become dystrophic while the infrapyramidal bundle of the mossy fiber shows aberrant extension into the stratum oriens of CA3. This axonal misguided projection of granular neurons suggests that the mossy fiber-CA3 synaptic transmission, important for the evoked propagation of the activity of the hippocampal trisynaptic circuitry, may be altered, whereas the dystrophic dendrites may impair the dynamic interactions with the entorhinal cortex, both expected to affect hippocampal function.
- Yu, J., Moutal, A., Dorame, A., Bellampalli, S. S., Chefdeville, A., Kanazawa, I., Pham, N. Y., Park, K. D., Weimer, J. M., & Khanna, R. (2018). Phosphorylated CRMP2 Regulates Spinal Nociceptive Neurotransmission. Molecular neurobiology.More infoThe collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) has emerged as a central node in assembling nociceptive signaling complexes involving voltage-gated ion channels. Concerted actions of post-translational modifications, phosphorylation and SUMOylation, of CRMP2 contribute to regulation of pathological pain states. In the present study, we demonstrate a novel role for CRMP2 in spinal nociceptive transmission. We found that, of six possible post-translational modifications, three phosphorylation sites on CRMP2 were critical for regulating calcium influx in dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons. Of these, only CRMP2 phosphorylated at serine 522 by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) contributed to spinal neurotransmission in a bidirectional manner. Accordingly, expression of a non-phosphorylatable CRMP2 (S522A) decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), whereas expression of a constitutively phosphorylated CRMP2 (S522D) increased the frequency of sEPSCs. The presynaptic nature of CRMP2's actions was further confirmed by pharmacological antagonism of Cdk5-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation with S-N-benzy-2-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((S)-lacosamide; (S)-LCM) which (i) decreased sEPSC frequency, (ii) increased paired-pulse ratio, and (iii) reduced the presynaptic distribution of CaV2.2 and NaV1.7, two voltage-gated ion channels implicated in nociceptive signaling. (S)-LCM also inhibited depolarization-evoked release of the pro-nociceptive neurotransmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the spinal cord. Increased CRMP2 phosphorylation in rats with spared nerve injury (SNI) was decreased by intrathecal administration of (S)-LCM resulting in a loss of presynaptic localization of CaV2.2 and NaV1.7. Together, these findings indicate that CRMP2 regulates presynaptic excitatory neurotransmission in spinal cord and may play an important role in regulating pathological pain. Novel targeting strategies to inhibit CRMP2 phosphorylation by Cdk5 may have great potential for the treatment of chronic pain.
- Dustrude, E. T., Perez-Miller, S., François-Moutal, L., Moutal, A., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2017). A single structurally conserved SUMOylation site in CRMP2 controls NaV1.7 function. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 11(4), 316-328.More infoThe neuronal collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) undergoes several posttranslational modifications that codify its functions. Most recently, CRMP2 SUMOylation (addition of small ubiquitin like modifier (SUMO)) was identified as a key regulatory step within a modification program that codes for CRMP2 interaction with, and trafficking of, voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7. In this paper, we illustrate the utility of combining sequence alignment within protein families with structural analysis to identify, from several putative SUMOylation sites, those that are most likely to be biologically relevant. Co-opting this principle to CRMP2, we demonstrate that, of 3 sites predicted to be SUMOylated in CRMP2, only the lysine 374 site is a SUMOylation client. A reduction in NaV1.7 currents was the corollary of the loss of CRMP2 SUMOylation at this site. A 1.78-Å-resolution crystal structure of mouse CRMP2 was solved using X-ray crystallography, revealing lysine 374 as buried within the CRMP2 tetramer interface but exposed in the monomer. Since CRMP2 SUMOylation is dependent on phosphorylation, we postulate that this state forces CRMP2 toward a monomer, exposing the SUMO site and consequently, resulting in constitutive regulation of NaV1.7.
- Garami, A., Ibrahim, M., Gilbraith, K., Khanna, R., Pakai, E., Miko, A., Pinter, E., Romanovsky, A. A., Porreca, F., & Patwardhan, A. M. (2017). Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Antagonists Prevent Anesthesia-induced Hypothermia and Decrease Postincisional Opioid Dose Requirements in Rodents. Anesthesiology, 127(5), 813-823.More infoIntraoperative hypothermia and postoperative pain control are two important clinical challenges in anesthesiology. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 has been implicated both in thermoregulation and pain. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 antagonists were not advanced as analgesics in humans in part due to a side effect of hyperthermia. This study tested the hypothesis that a single, preincision injection of a transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 antagonist could prevent anesthesia-induced hypothermia and decrease the opioid requirement for postsurgical hypersensitivity.
- Khanna, R. (2017). Long-lasting antinociceptive effects of green light in acute and chronic pain in rats.. Pain, 158(2), 347-360. doi:doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000767.More infoTreatments for chronic pain are inadequate, and new options are needed. Nonpharmaceutical approaches are especially attractive with many potential advantages including safety. Light therapy has been suggested to be beneficial in certain medical conditions such as depression, but this approach remains to be explored for modulation of pain. We investigated the effects of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), in the visible spectrum, on acute sensory thresholds in naive rats as well as in experimental neuropathic pain. Rats receiving green LED light (wavelength 525 nm, 8 h/d) showed significantly increased paw withdrawal latency to a noxious thermal stimulus; this antinociceptive effect persisted for 4 days after termination of last exposure without development of tolerance. No apparent side effects were noted and motor performance was not impaired. Despite LED exposure, opaque contact lenses prevented antinociception. Rats fitted with green contact lenses exposed to room light exhibited antinociception arguing for a role of the visual system. Antinociception was not due to stress/anxiety but likely due to increased enkephalins expression in the spinal cord. Naloxone reversed the antinociception, suggesting involvement of central opioid circuits. Rostral ventromedial medulla inactivation prevented expression of light-induced antinociception suggesting engagement of descending inhibition. Green LED exposure also reversed thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in rats with spinal nerve ligation. Pharmacological and proteomic profiling of dorsal root ganglion neurons from green LED-exposed rats identified changes in calcium channel activity, including a decrease in the N-type (CaV2.2) channel, a primary analgesic target. Thus, green LED therapy may represent a novel, nonpharmacological approach for managing pain.
- Moutal, A., Cai, S., Luo, S., Voisin, R., & Khanna, R. (2017). CRMP2 is necessary for Neurofibromatosis type 1 related pain. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 0.More infoNeurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is one of the most common genetic diseases, affecting roughly 1 in 3000 individuals. As a multisystem disorder, it affects cognitive development, as well as bone, nerve and muscle constitution. Peripheral neuropathy in NF1 constitutes a potentially severe clinical complication and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The discovery of effective therapies for Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) pain depends on mechanistic understanding that has been limited, in part, by the relative lack of availability of animal models relevant to NF1 pain. We have used intrathecal targeted editing of Nf1 in rats to provide direct evidence of a causal relationship between neurofibromin and pain responses. We demonstrated that editing of neurofibromin results in functional remodeling of peripheral nociceptors characterized by enhancement of interactions of the tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) Na+ voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.7) and the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). Collectively, these peripheral adaptations increase sensory neuron excitability and release of excitatory transmitters to the spinal dorsal horn to establish and maintain a state of central sensitization reflected by hyperalgesia to mechanical stimulation of the hindpaw. The data presented here shows that CRMP2 inhibition is sufficient to reverse the dysregulations of voltage-gated ion channels and neurotransmitter release observed after Nf1 gene editing. The concordance in normalization of ion channel dysregulation by a CRMP2-directed strategy and of hyperalgesia supports the translational targeting of CRMP2 to curb NF1-related pain.
- Moutal, A., Dustrude, E. T., Largent-Milnes, T. M., Vanderah, T. W., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2017). Blocking CRMP2 SUMOylation reverses neuropathic pain. Molecular psychiatry.
- Moutal, A., Li, W., Wang, Y., Ju, W., Luo, S., Cai, S., François-Moutal, L., Perez-Miller, S., Hu, J., Dustrude, E. T., Vanderah, T. W., Gokhale, V., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2017). Homology-guided mutational analysis reveals the functional requirements for antinociceptive specificity of collapsin response mediator protein 2-derived peptides. British journal of pharmacology.More infoN-type voltage-gated calcium (Cav 2.2) channels are critical determinants of increased neuronal excitability and neurotransmission accompanying persistent neuropathic pain. Although Cav 2.2 channel antagonists are recommended as first-line treatment for neuropathic pain, calcium-current blocking gabapentinoids inadequately alleviate chronic pain symptoms and often exhibit numerous side effects. Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) targets Cav 2.2 channels to the sensory neuron membrane and allosterically modulates their function. A 15-amino-acid peptide (CBD3), derived from CRMP2, disrupts the functional protein-protein interaction between CRMP2 and Cav 2.2 channels to inhibit calcium influx, transmitter release and acute, inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Here, we have mapped the minimal domain of CBD3 necessary for its antinociceptive potential.
- Moutal, A., Villa, L. S., Yeon, S. K., Householder, K. T., Park, K. D., Sirianni, R. W., & Khanna, R. (2017). CRMP2 Phosphorylation Drives Glioblastoma Cell Proliferation. Molecular neurobiology.More infoGlioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive primary brain tumor. The rapid growth and the privileged provenance of the tumor within the brain contribute to its aggressivity and poor therapeutic targeting. A poor prognostic factor in glioblastoma is the deletion or mutation of the Nf1 gene. This gene codes for the protein neurofibromin, a tumor suppressor gene that is known to interact with the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). CRMP2 expression and elevated expression of nuclear phosphorylated CRMP2 have recently been implicated in cancer progression. The CRMP2-neurofibromin interaction protects CRMP2 from its phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), an event linked to cancer progression. In three human glioblastoma cell lines (GL15, A172, and U87), we observed an inverse correlation between neurofibromin expression and CRMP2 phosphorylation levels. Glioblastoma cell proliferation was dependent on CRMP2 expression and phosphorylation by Cdk5 and glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β). The CRMP2 phosphorylation inhibitor (S)-lacosamide reduces, in a concentration-dependent manner, glioblastoma cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in all three GBM cell lines tested. Since (S)-lacosamide is bioavailable in the brain, we tested its utility in an in vivo orthotopic model of GBM using GL261-LucNeo glioma cells. (S)-lacosamide decreased tumor size, as measured via in vivo bioluminescence imaging, by ~54% compared to vehicle control. Our results introduce CRMP2 expression and phosphorylation as a novel player in GBM proliferation and survival, which is enhanced by loss of Nf1.
- Moutal, A., Wang, Y., Yang, X., Ji, Y., Luo, S., Dorame, A., Bellampalli, S. S., Chew, L. A., Cai, S., Dustrude, E. T., Keener, J. E., Marty, M. T., Vanderah, T. W., & Khanna, R. (2017). Dissecting the role of the CRMP2-neurofibromin complex on pain behaviors. Pain, 158(11), 2203-2221.More infoNeurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder linked to inactivating mutations or a homozygous deletion of the Nf1 gene, is characterized by tumorigenesis, cognitive dysfunction, seizures, migraine, and pain. Omic studies on human NF1 tissues identified an increase in the expression of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), a cytosolic protein reported to regulate the trafficking and activity of presynaptic N-type voltage-gated calcium (Cav2.2) channels. Because neurofibromin, the protein product of the Nf1 gene, binds to and inhibits CRMP2, the neurofibromin-CRMP2 signaling cascade will likely affect Ca channel activity and regulate nociceptive neurotransmission and in vivo responses to noxious stimulation. Here, we investigated the function of neurofibromin-CRMP2 interaction on Cav2.2. Mapping of >275 peptides between neurofibromin and CRMP2 identified a 15-amino acid CRMP2-derived peptide that, when fused to the tat transduction domain of HIV-1, inhibited Ca influx in dorsal root ganglion neurons. This peptide mimics the negative regulation of CRMP2 activity by neurofibromin. Neurons treated with tat-CRMP2/neurofibromin regulating peptide 1 (t-CNRP1) exhibited a decreased Cav2.2 membrane localization, and uncoupling of neurofibromin-CRMP2 and CRMP2-Cav2.2 interactions. Proteomic analysis of a nanodisc-solubilized membrane protein library identified syntaxin 1A as a novel CRMP2-binding protein whose interaction with CRMP2 was strengthened in neurofibromin-depleted cells and reduced by t-CNRP1. Stimulus-evoked release of calcitonin gene-related peptide from lumbar spinal cord slices was inhibited by t-CNRP1. Intrathecal administration of t-CNRP1 was antinociceptive in experimental models of inflammatory, postsurgical, and neuropathic pain. Our results demonstrate the utility of t-CNRP1 to inhibit CRMP2 protein-protein interactions for the potential treatment of pain.
- Moutal, A., Yang, X., Li, W., Gilbraith, K. B., Luo, S., Cai, S., François-Moutal, L., Chew, L. A., Yeon, S. K., Bellampalli, S. S., Qu, C., Xie, J. Y., Ibrahim, M. M., Khanna, M., Park, K. D., Porreca, F., & Khanna, R. (2017). CRISPR/Cas9 editing of Nf1 gene identifies CRMP2 as a therapeutic target in neurofibromatosis type 1-related pain that is reversed by (S)-Lacosamide. Pain, 158(12), 2301-2319.More infoNeurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a rare autosomal dominant disease linked to mutations of the Nf1 gene. Patients with NF1 commonly experience severe pain. Studies on mice with Nf1 haploinsufficiency have been instructive in identifying sensitization of ion channels as a possible cause underlying the heightened pain suffered by patients with NF1. However, behavioral assessments of Nf1 mice have led to uncertain conclusions about the potential causal role of Nf1 in pain. We used the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) genome editing system to create and mechanistically characterize a novel rat model of NF1-related pain. Targeted intrathecal delivery of guide RNA/Cas9 nuclease plasmid in combination with a cationic polymer was used to generate allele-specific C-terminal truncation of neurofibromin, the protein encoded by the Nf1 gene. Rats with truncation of neurofibromin, showed increases in voltage-gated calcium (specifically N-type or CaV2.2) and voltage-gated sodium (particularly tetrodotoxin-sensitive) currents in dorsal root ganglion neurons. These gains-of-function resulted in increased nociceptor excitability and behavioral hyperalgesia. The cytosolic regulatory protein collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) regulates activity of these channels, and also binds to the targeted C-terminus of neurofibromin in a tripartite complex, suggesting a possible mechanism underlying NF1 pain. Prevention of CRMP2 phosphorylation with (S)-lacosamide resulted in normalization of channel current densities, excitability, as well as of hyperalgesia following CRISPR/Cas9 truncation of neurofibromin. These studies reveal the protein partners that drive NF1 pain and suggest that CRMP2 is a key target for therapeutic intervention.
- Dustrude, E. T., Moutal, A., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2016). Hierarchical CRMP2 posttranslational modifications control NaV1.7 function. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 113(52), E8443-E8452.
- Moutal, A., Chew, L. A., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Yeon, S. K., Telemi, E., Meroueh, S., Park, K. D., Shrinivasan, R., Gilbraith, K. B., Qu, C., Xie, J. Y., Patwardhan, A., Vanderah, T. W., Khanna, M., Porreca, F., & Khanna, R. (2016). (S)-lacosamide inhibition of CRMP2 phosphorylation reduces postoperative and neuropathic pain behaviors through distinct classes of sensory neurons identified by constellation pharmacology. PAIN, 157(7), 1448-1463.
- Moutal, A., Chew, L. A., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Yeon, S. K., Telemi, E., Meroueh, S., Park, K. D., Shrinivasan, R., Gilbraith, K. B., Qu, C., Xie, J. Y., Patwardhan, A., Vanderah, T. W., Khanna, M., Porreca, F., & Khanna, R. (2016). (S)-lacosamide inhibition of CRMP2 phosphorylation reduces postoperative and neuropathic pain behaviors through distinct classes of sensory neurons identified by constellation pharmacology. Pain, 157(7), 1448-63.More infoChronic pain affects the life of millions of people. Current treatments have deleterious side effects. We have advanced a strategy for targeting protein interactions which regulate the N-type voltage-gated calcium (CaV2.2) channel as an alternative to direct channel block. Peptides uncoupling CaV2.2 interactions with the axonal collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) were antinociceptive without effects on memory, depression, and reward/addiction. A search for small molecules that could recapitulate uncoupling of the CaV2.2-CRMP2 interaction identified (S)-lacosamide [(S)-LCM], the inactive enantiomer of the Food and Drug Administration-approved antiepileptic drug (R)-lacosamide [(R)-LCM, Vimpat]. We show that (S)-LCM, but not (R)-LCM, inhibits CRMP2 phosphorylation by cyclin dependent kinase 5, a step necessary for driving CaV2.2 activity, in sensory neurons. (S)-lacosamide inhibited depolarization-induced Ca influx with a low micromolar IC50. Voltage-clamp electrophysiology experiments demonstrated a commensurate reduction in Ca currents in sensory neurons after an acute application of (S)-LCM. Using constellation pharmacology, a recently described high content phenotypic screening platform for functional fingerprinting of neurons that uses subtype-selective pharmacological agents to elucidate cell-specific combinations (constellations) of key signaling proteins that define specific cell types, we investigated if (S)-LCM preferentially acts on certain types of neurons. (S)-lacosamide decreased the dorsal root ganglion neurons responding to mustard oil, and increased the number of cells responding to menthol. Finally, (S)-LCM reversed thermal hypersensitivity and mechanical allodynia in a model of postoperative pain, and 2 models of neuropathic pain. Thus, using (S)-LCM to inhibit CRMP2 phosphorylation is a novel and efficient strategy to treat pain, which works by targeting specific sensory neuron populations.
- Moutal, A., Eyde, N., Telemi, E., Park, K. D., Xie, J. Y., Dodick, D. W., Porreca, F., & Khanna, R. (2016). Efficacy of (S)-Lacosamide in preclinical models of cephalic pain. Pain reports, 1(1).More infoMigraine is one of the world's most common neurological disorders. Current acute migraine treatments have sub-optimal efficacy and new therapeutic options are needed. Approaches targeting calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) signaling are clinically effective but small molecule antagonists have not been advanced due to toxicity. In this study, we explored the axonal growth/specification collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) as a novel "druggable" target for inhibiting CGRP release and for potential relevance for treatment of migraine pain. CRMP2 has been demonstrated to regulate N-type voltage gated Ca2+ channel (CaV2.2) activity and Ca2+-dependent CGRP release in sensory neurons. The co-expression of CRMP2 with CaV2.2 and CGRP in trigeminal ganglia (TG) sensory neurons suggested the possibility of a novel approach to regulate CGRP release in the trigeminal system. Screening protocols surprisingly revealed that (S)-Lacosamide ((S)-LCM), an inactive analog of the clinically-approved small molecule anti-epileptic drug (R)-Lacosamide (Vimpat®), inhibited CRMP2 phosphorylation by cyclin dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in rat TG slices and decreased depolarization-evoked Ca2+ influx in TG cells in culture. (S)-LCM significantly blocked capsaicin-evoked CGRP release from dural nerve terminals in the rat an ex vivo cranial cup preparation. Additionally, cephalic and extracephalic cutaneous allodynia (CA) induced in rats by activation of dural nociceptors with a cocktail of inflammatory mediators, was inhibited by oral administration of (S)-LCM. The confirmation of CRMP2 as an upstream mediator of CGRP release together with the brain penetrance of this molecule suggest (S)-LCM as a potential therapy for acute migraine.
- Moutal, A., François-Moutal, L., Perez-Miller, S., Cottier, K., Chew, L. A., Yeon, S. K., Dai, J., Park, K. D., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2016). (S)-Lacosamide Binding to Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 2 (CRMP2) Regulates CaV2.2 Activity by Subverting Its Phosphorylation by Cdk5. Molecular neurobiology, 53(3), 1959-1976.More infoThe neuronal circuit remodels during development as well as in human neuropathologies such as epilepsy. Neurite outgrowth is an obligatory step in these events. We recently reported that alterations in the phosphorylation state of an axon specification/guidance protein, the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), play a major role in the activity-dependent regulation of neurite outgrowth. We also identified (S)-LCM, an inactive stereoisomer of the clinically used antiepileptic drug (R)-LCM (Vimpat®), as a novel tool for preferentially targeting CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which (S)-LCM affects CRMP2 phosphorylation by two key kinases, cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β). (S)-LCM application to embryonic cortical neurons resulted in reduced levels of Cdk5- and GSK-3β-phosphorylated CRMP2. Mechanistically, (S)-LCM increased CRMP2 binding to both Cdk5- and GSK-3β without affecting binding of CRMP2 to its canonical partner tubulin. Saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance (STD NMR) and differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) experiments demonstrated direct binding of (S)-LCM to CRMP2. Using an in vitro luminescent kinase assay, we observed that (S)-LCM specifically inhibited Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of CRMP2. Cross-linking experiments and analytical ultracentrifugation showed no effect of (S)-LCM on the oligomerization state of CRMP2. The increased association between Cdk5-phosphorylated CRMP2 and CaV2.2 was reduced by (S)-LCM in vitro and in vivo. This reduction translated into a decrease of calcium influx via CaV2.2 in (S)-LCM-treated neurons compared to controls. (S)-LCM, to our knowledge, is the first molecule described to directly inhibit CRMP2 phosphorylation and may be useful for delineating CRMP2-facilitated functions.
- Xie, J. Y., Chew, L. A., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Qu, C., Wang, Y., Federici, L. M., Fitz, S. D., Ripsch, M. S., Due, M. R., Moutal, A., Khanna, M., White, F. A., Vanderah, T. W., Johnson, P. L., Porreca, F., & Khanna, R. (2016). Sustained relief of ongoing experimental neuropathic pain by a CRMP2 peptide aptamer with low abuse potential. PAIN, 157(9), 2124-2140.
- Xie, J. Y., Chew, L. A., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Qu, C., Wang, Y., Federici, L. M., Fitz, S. D., Ripsch, M. S., Due, M. R., Moutal, A., Khanna, M., White, F. A., Vanderah, T. W., Johnson, P. L., Porreca, F., & Khanna, R. (2016). Sustained relief of ongoing experimental neuropathic pain by a CRMP2 peptide aptamer with low abuse potential. Pain, 157(9), 2124-40.More infoUncoupling the protein-protein interaction between collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) and N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2) with an allosteric CRMP2-derived peptide (CBD3) is antinociceptive in rodent models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. We investigated the efficacy, duration of action, abuse potential, and neurobehavioral toxicity of an improved mutant CRMP2 peptide. A homopolyarginine (R9)-conjugated CBD3-A6K (R9-CBD3-A6K) peptide inhibited the CaV2.2-CRMP2 interaction in a concentration-dependent fashion and diminished surface expression of CaV2.2 and depolarization-evoked Ca influx in rat dorsal root ganglia neurons. In vitro studies demonstrated suppression of excitability of small-to-medium diameter dorsal root ganglion and inhibition of subtypes of voltage-gated Ca channels. Sprague-Dawley rats with tibial nerve injury had profound and long-lasting tactile allodynia and ongoing pain. Immediate administration of R9-CBD3-A6K produced enhanced dopamine release from the nucleus accumbens shell selectively in injured animals, consistent with relief of ongoing pain. R9-CBD3-A6K, when administered repeatedly into the central nervous system ventricles of naive rats, did not result in a positive conditioned place preference demonstrating a lack of abusive liability. Continuous subcutaneous infusion of R9-CBD3-A6K over a 24- to 72-hour period reversed tactile allodynia and ongoing pain, demonstrating a lack of tolerance over this time course. Importantly, continuous infusion of R9-CBD3-A6K did not affect motor activity, anxiety, depression, or memory and learning. Collectively, these results validate the potential therapeutic significance of targeting the CaV-CRMP2 axis for treatment of neuropathic pain.
- Brittain, J. M., Pan, R., You, H., Brustovetsky, T., Brustovetsky, N., Zamponi, G. W., Lee, W., & Khanna, R. (2015). Disruption of NMDAR-CRMP-2 signaling protects against focal cerebral ischemic damage in the rat middle cerebral artery occlusion model. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 6(1), 52-9.More infoCollapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2), traditionally viewed as an axon/dendrite specification and axonal growth protein, has emerged as nidus in regulation of both pre- and post-synaptic Ca ( 2+) channels. Building on our discovery of the interaction and regulation of Ca ( 2+) channels by CRMP-2, we recently identified a short sequence in CRMP-2 which, when appended to the transduction domain of HIV TAT protein, suppressed acute, inflammatory and neuropathic pain in vivo by functionally uncoupling CRMP-2 from the Ca ( 2+) channel. Remarkably, we also found that this region attenuated Ca ( 2+) influx via N-methylD-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and reduced neuronal death in a moderate controlled cortical impact model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here, we sought to extend these findings by examining additional neuroprotective effects of this peptide (TAT-CBD3) and exploring the biochemical mechanisms by which TAT-CBD3 targets NMDARs. We observed that an intraperitoneal injection of TAT-CBD3 peptide significantly reduced infarct volume in an animal model of focal cerebral ischemia. Neuroprotection was observed when TAT-CBD3 peptide was given either prior to or after occlusion but just prior to reperfusion. Surprisingly, a direct biochemical complex was not resolvable between the NMDAR subunit NR2B and CRMP-2. Intracellular application of TAT-CBD3 failed to inhibit NMDAR current. NR2B interactions with the post synaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) remained intact and were not disrupted by TAT-CBD3. Peptide tiling of intracellular regions of NR2B revealed two 15-mer sequences, in the carboxyl-terminus of NR2B, that may confer binding between NR2B and CRMP-2 which supports CRMP-2's role in excitotoxicity and neuroprotection.
- Chan, A. W., Khanna, R., Li, Q., & Stanley, E. F. (2015). Munc18: a presynaptic transmitter release site N type (CaV2.2) calcium channel interacting protein. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 1(1), 11-20.More infoMunc18 is a presynaptic protein that is essential for transmitter release. Recent studies have indicated that this protein is involved in secretory vesicle docking but its binding partners in this role remain a mystery. We demonstrate using the isolated calyx-type presynaptic terminal of the chick ciliary ganglion that staining for Munc18 colocalizes and covaries with that for transmitter release site N type calcium channels (CaV2.2), consistent with elements of a common release site complex. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that the protein coprecipitates with CaV2.2 from lysates of rat or chick brain, including its synaptic, long-splice variant; presynaptic terminal surface membrane proteins, and a cell line coexpressing Munc18 and CaV2.2. Munc18 bound with high affinity to the CaV2.2 II-III intracellular loop, low affinity to the I-II loop but not to other channel intracellular regions. Over-expression of Munc18 in dorsal root ganglion neurons did not affect CaV2.2 current amplitude or fast kinetics but siRNA-knockdown resulted in a negative shift in the steady state inactivation curve, an effect attributed to an indirect action via syntaxin 1. Recombinant Munc18 also coprecipitated strongly with the v-SNARE synaptotagmin, but only weakly with other SNAREs. Thus, the calcium channel may serve as a surface membrane platform anchoring a Munc18-containing bridge to synaptotagmin and the synaptic vesicle.
- Francois-Moutal, L., Wang, Y., Moutal, A., Cottier, K. E., Melemedjian, O. K., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Ju, W., Largent-Milnes, T. M., Khanna, M., Vanderah, T. W., & Khanna, R. (2015). A membrane-delimited N-myristoylated CRMP2 peptide aptamer inhibits CaV2.2 trafficking and reverses inflammatory and postoperative pain behaviors. PAIN, 156(7), 1247-1264.
- François-Moutal, L., Wang, Y., Moutal, A., Cottier, K. E., Melemedjian, O. K., Yang, X., Wang, Y., Ju, W., Largent-Milnes, T. M., Khanna, M., Vanderah, T. W., & Khanna, R. (2015). A membrane-delimited N-myristoylated CRMP2 peptide aptamer inhibits CaV2.2 trafficking and reverses inflammatory and postoperative pain behaviors. Pain, 156(7), 1247-64.More infoTargeting proteins within the N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2) complex has proven to be an effective strategy for developing novel pain therapeutics. We describe a novel peptide aptamer derived from the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), a CaV2.2-regulatory protein. Addition of a 14-carbon myristate group to the peptide (myr-tat-CBD3) tethered it to the membrane of primary sensory neurons near surface CaV2.2. Pull-down studies demonstrated that myr-tat-CBD3 peptide interfered with the CRMP2-CaV2.2 interaction. Quantitative confocal immunofluorescence revealed a pronounced reduction of CaV2.2 trafficking after myr-tat-CBD3 treatment and increased efficiency in disrupting CRMP2-CaV2.2 colocalization compared with peptide tat-CBD3. Consequently, myr-tat-CBD3 inhibited depolarization-induced calcium influx in sensory neurons. Voltage clamp electrophysiology experiments revealed a reduction of Ca, but not Na, currents in sensory neurons after myr-tat-CBD3 exposure. Current clamp electrophysiology experiments demonstrated a reduction in excitability of small-diameter dorsal root ganglion neurons after exposure to myr-tat-CBD3. Myr-tat-CBD3 was effective in significantly attenuating carrageenan-induced thermal hypersensitivity and reversing thermal hypersensitivity induced by a surgical incision of the plantar surface of the rat hind paw, a model of postoperative pain. These effects are compared with those of tat-CBD3-the nonmyristoylated tat-conjugated CRMP2 peptide as well as scrambled versions of CBD3 and CBD3-lacking control peptides. Our results demonstrate that the myristoyl tag enhances intracellular delivery and local concentration of the CRMP2 peptide aptamer near membrane-delimited calcium channels resulting in pronounced interference with the calcium channel complex, superior suppression of calcium influx, and better antinociceptive potential.
- Ju, W., Li, Q., Wilson, S. M., Brittain, J. M., Meroueh, L., & Khanna, R. (2015). SUMOylation alters CRMP2 regulation of calcium influx in sensory neurons. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 7(3), 153-9.More infoThe axon/dendrite specification collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) bidirectionally modulates N-type voltage-gated Ca ( 2+) channels (CaV2.2). Here we demonstrate that small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) protein modifies CRMP2 via the SUMO E2-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 in vivo. Removal of a SUMO conjugation site KMD in CRMP2 (K374A/M375A/D376A; CRMP2AAA) resulted in loss of SUMOylated CRMP2 without compromising neurite branching, a canonical hallmark of CRMP2 function. Increasing SUMOylation levels correlated inversely with calcium influx in sensory neurons. CRMP2 deSUMOylation by SUMO proteases SENP1 and SENP2 normalized calcium influx to those in the CRMP2AAA mutant. Thus, our results identify a novel role for SUMO modification in CRMP2/CaV2.2 signaling pathway.
- Moutal, A., Francois-Moutal, L., Brittain, J. M., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2015). Differential neuroprotective potential of CRMP2 peptide aptamers conjugated to cationic, hydrophobic, and amphipathic cell penetrating peptides. FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE, 8.
- Moutal, A., Honnorat, J., Massoma, P., Desormeaux, P., Bertrand, C., Malleval, C., Watrin, C., Chounlamountri, N., Mayeur, M., Besancon, R., Naudet, N., Magadoux, L., Khanna, R., Ducray, F., Meyronet, D., & Thomasset, N. (2015). CRMP5 Controls Glioblastoma Cell Proliferation and Survival through Notch-Dependent Signaling. CANCER RESEARCH, 75(17), 3519-3528.
- Quach, T. T., Honnorat, J., Kolattukudy, P. E., Khanna, R., & Duchemin, A. M. (2015). CRMPs: critical molecules for neurite morphogenesis and neuropsychiatric diseases. Molecular psychiatry, 20(9), 1037-45.More infoNeuronal polarity and spatial rearrangement of neuronal processes are central to the development of all mature nervous systems. Recent studies have highlighted the dynamic expression of Collapsin-Response-Mediator Proteins (CRMPs) in neuronal dendritic/axonal compartments, described their interaction with cytoskeleton proteins, identified their ability to activate L- and N-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and delineated their crucial role as signaling molecules essential for neuron differentiation and neural network development and maintenance. In addition, evidence obtained from genome-wide/genetic linkage/proteomic/translational approaches revealed that CRMP expression is altered in human pathologies including mental (schizophrenia and mood disorders) and neurological (Alzheimer's, prion encephalopathy, epilepsy and others) disorders. Changes in CRMPs levels have been observed after psychotropic treatments, and disrupting CRMP2 binding to calcium channels blocked neuropathic pain. These observations, altogether with those obtained from genetically modified mice targeting individual CRMPs and RNA interference approaches, pave the way for considering CRMPs as potential early disease markers and modulation of their activity as therapeutic strategy for disorders associated with neurite abnormalities.
- Quach, T. T., Honnorat, J., Kolattukudy, P. E., Khanna, R., & Duchemin, A. M. (2015). Collapsin response mediator protein 3 increases the dendritic arborization of hippocampal neurons. Molecular psychiatry, 20(9), 1027.
- Torregrosa, R., Yang, X. F., Dustrude, E. T., Cummins, T. R., Khanna, R., & Kohn, H. (2015). Chimeric derivatives of functionalized amino acids and α-aminoamides: compounds with anticonvulsant activity in seizure models and inhibitory actions on central, peripheral, and cardiac isoforms of voltage-gated sodium channels. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 23(13), 3655-66.More infoSix novel 3″-substituted (R)-N-(phenoxybenzyl) 2-N-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamides were prepared and then assessed using whole-cell, patch-clamp electrophysiology for their anticonvulsant activities in animal seizure models and for their sodium channel activities. We found compounds with various substituents at the terminal aromatic ring that had excellent anticonvulsant activity. Of these compounds, (R)-N-4'-((3″-chloro)phenoxy)benzyl 2-N-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((R)-5) and (R)-N-4'-((3″-trifluoromethoxy)phenoxy)benzyl 2-N-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((R)-9) exhibited high protective indices (PI=TD50/ED50) comparable with many antiseizure drugs when tested in the maximal electroshock seizure test to mice (intraperitoneally) and rats (intraperitoneally, orally). Most compounds potently transitioned sodium channels to the slow-inactivated state when evaluated in rat embryonic cortical neurons. Treating HEK293 recombinant cells that expressed hNaV1.1, rNaV1.3, hNaV1.5, or hNaV1.7 with (R)-9 recapitulated the high levels of sodium channel slow inactivation.
- Wilson, S. M., & Khanna, R. (2015). Specific binding of lacosamide to collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) and direct impairment of its canonical function: implications for the therapeutic potential of lacosamide. Molecular neurobiology, 51(2), 599-609.More infoThe novel antiepileptic drug lacosamide (LCM; SPM927, Vimpat®) has been heralded as having a dual-mode of action through interactions with both the voltage-gated sodium channel and the neurite outgrowth-promoting collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). Lacosamide's ability to dampen neuronal excitability through the voltage-gated sodium channel likely underlies its efficacy in attenuating the symptoms of epilepsy (i.e., seizures). While the role of CRMP2 in epilepsy has not been well studied, given the proposed involvement of circuit reorganization in epileptogenesis, the ability of lacosamide to alter CRMP2 function may prove disease modifying. Recently, however, the validity of lacosamide's interaction with CRMP2 has come under scrutiny. In this review, we address the contradictory reports concerning the binding of lacosamide to CRMP2 as well as the ability of lacosamide to directly impact CRMP2 function. Additionally, we address similarly the contradicting reports regarding the potential disease-modifying effect of lacosamide on the development and progression of epilepsy. As the vast majority of antiepileptic drugs influences only the symptoms of epilepsy, the ability to hinder disease progression would be a major breakthrough in efforts to cure or prevent this debilitating syndrome.
- Wilson, S. M., Brittain, J. M., Piekarz, A. D., Ballard, C. J., Ripsch, M. S., Cummins, T. R., Hurley, J. H., Khanna, M., Hammes, N. M., Samuels, B. C., White, F. A., & Khanna, R. (2015). Further insights into the antinociceptive potential of a peptide disrupting the N-type calcium channel-CRMP-2 signaling complex. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 5(5), 449-56.More infoThe N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (Cav 2.2) has gained immense prominence in the treatment of chronic pain. While decreased channel function is ultimately anti-nociceptive, directly targeting the channel can lead to multiple adverse side effects. Targeting modulators of channel activity may facilitate improved analgesic properties associated with channel block and a broader therapeutic window. A novel interaction between Cav 2.2 and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) positively regulates channel function by increasing surface trafficking. We recently identified a CRMP-2 peptide (TAT-CBD3), which effectively blocks this interaction, reduces or completely reverses pain behavior in a number of inflammatory and neuropathic models. Importantly, TAT-CBD3 did not produce many of the typical side effects often observed with Cav 2.2 inhibitors. Notably chronic pain mechanisms offer unique challenges as they often encompass a mix of both neuropathic and inflammatory elements, whereby inflammation likely causes damage to the neuron leading to neuropathic pain, and neuronal injury may produce inflammatory reactions. To this end, we sought to further disseminate the ability of TAT-CBD3 to alter behavioral outcomes in two additional rodent pain models. While we observed that TAT-CBD3 reversed mechanical hypersensitivity associated with a model of chronic inflammatory pain due to lysophosphotidylcholine-induced sciatic nerve focal demyelination (LPC), injury to the tibial nerve (TNI) failed to respond to drug treatment. Moreover, a single amino acid mutation within the CBD3 sequence demonstrated amplified Cav 2.2 binding and dramatically increased efficacy in an animal model of migraine. Taken together, TAT-CBD3 potentially represents a novel class of therapeutics targeting channel regulation as opposed to the channel itself.
- Brustovetsky, T., Pellman, J. J., Yang, X., Khanna, R., & Brustovetsky, N. (2014). Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) interacts with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and Na+/Ca2+ exchanger and regulates their functional activity. The Journal of biological chemistry, 289(11), 7470-82.More infoCollapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) is traditionally viewed as an axonal growth protein involved in axon/dendrite specification. Here, we describe novel functions of CRMP2. A 15-amino acid peptide from CRMP2, fused to the TAT cell-penetrating motif of the HIV-1 protein, TAT-CBD3, but not CBD3 without TAT, attenuated N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity and protected neurons against glutamate-induced Ca(2+) dysregulation, suggesting the key contribution of CRMP2 in these processes. In addition, TAT-CBD3, but not CBD3 without TAT or TAT-scramble peptide, inhibited increases in cytosolic Ca(2+) mediated by the plasmalemmal Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) operating in the reverse mode. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed an interaction between CRMP2 and NMDAR as well as NCX3 but not NCX1. TAT-CBD3 disrupted CRMP2-NMDAR interaction without change in NMDAR localization. In contrast, TAT-CBD3 augmented the CRMP2-NCX3 co-immunoprecipitation, indicating increased interaction or stabilization of a complex between these proteins. Immunostaining with an anti-NCX3 antibody revealed that TAT-CBD3 induced NCX3 internalization, suggesting that both reverse and forward modes of NCX might be affected. Indeed, the forward mode of NCX, evaluated in experiments with ionomycin-induced Ca(2+) influx into neurons, was strongly suppressed by TAT-CBD3. Knockdown of CRMP2 with short interfering RNA (siRNA) prevented NCX3 internalization in response to TAT-CBD3 exposure. Moreover, CRMP2 down-regulation strongly attenuated TAT-CBD3-induced inhibition of reverse NCX. Overall, our results demonstrate that CRMP2 interacts with NCX and NMDAR and that TAT-CBD3 protects against glutamate-induced Ca(2+) dysregulation most likely via suppression of both NMDAR and NCX activities. Our results further clarify the mechanism of action of TAT-CBD3 and identify a novel regulatory checkpoint for NMDAR and NCX function based on CRMP2 interaction with these proteins.
- Moutal, A., François-Moutal, L., Brittain, J. M., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2014). Differential neuroprotective potential of CRMP2 peptide aptamers conjugated to cationic, hydrophobic, and amphipathic cell penetrating peptides. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 8, 471.More infoThe microtubule-associated axonal specification collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) is a novel target for neuroprotection. A CRMP2 peptide (TAT-CBD3) conjugated to the HIV transactivator of transcription (TAT) protein's cationic cell penetrating peptide (CPP) motif protected neurons in the face of toxic levels of Ca(2+) influx leaked in via N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) hyperactivation. Here we tested whether replacing the hydrophilic TAT motif with alternative cationic (nona-arginine (R9)), hydrophobic (membrane transport sequence (MTS) of k-fibroblast growth factor) or amphipathic (model amphipathic peptide (MAP)) CPPs could be superior to the neuroprotection bestowed by TAT-CBD3. In giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) derived from cortical neurons, the peptides translocated across plasma membranes with similar efficiencies. Cortical neurons, acutely treated with peptides prior to a toxic glutamate challenge, demonstrated enhanced efflux of R9-CBD3 compared to others. R9-CBD3 inhibited N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-evoked Ca(2+) influx to a similar extent as TAT-CBD3 while MTS-CBD3 was ineffective which correlated with the ability of R9- and TAT-CBD3, but not MTS-CBD3, to block NMDAR interaction with CRMP2. Unrestricted Ca(2+) influx through NMDARs leading to delayed calcium dysregulation and neuronal cell death was blocked by all peptides but MAP-CBD3. When applied acutely for 10 min, R9-CBD3 was more effective than TAT-CBD3 at neuroprotection while MTS- and MAP-CBD3 were ineffective. In contrast, long-term (>24 h) treatment with MTS-CBD3 conferred neuroprotection where TAT-CBD3 failed. Neither peptide altered surface trafficking of NMDARs. Neuroprotection conferred by MTS-CBD3 peptide is likely due to its increased uptake coupled with decreased efflux when compared to TAT-CBD3. Overall, our results demonstrate that altering CPPs can bestow differential neuroprotective potential onto the CBD3 cargo.
- Wilson, S. M., Ki Yeon, S., Yang, X., Park, K. D., & Khanna, R. (2014). Differential regulation of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) phosphorylation by GSK3ß and CDK5 following traumatic brain injury. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 8, 135.More infoAberrant ion channel function has been heralded as a main underlying mechanism driving epilepsy and its symptoms. However, it has become increasingly clear that treatment strategies targeting voltage-gated sodium or calcium channels merely mask the symptoms of epilepsy without providing disease-modifying benefits. Ion channel function is likely only one important cog in a highly complex machine. Gross morphological changes, such as reactive sprouting and outgrowth, may also play a role in epileptogenesis. Mechanisms responsible for these changes are not well-understood. Here we investigate the potential involvement of the neurite outgrowth-promoting molecule collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). CRMP2 activity, in this respect, is regulated by phosphorylation state, where phosphorylation by a variety of kinases, including glycogen synthase kinase 3 β (GSK3β) renders it inactive. Phosphorylation (inactivation) of CRMP2 was decreased at two distinct phases following traumatic brain injury (TBI). While reduced CRMP2 phosphorylation during the early phase was attributed to the inactivation of GSK3β, the sustained decrease in CRMP2 phosphorylation in the late phase appeared to be independent of GSK3β activity. Instead, the reduction in GSK3β-phosphorylated CRMP2 was attributed to a loss of priming by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5), which allows for subsequent phosphorylation by GSK3β. Based on the observation that the proportion of active CRMP2 is increased for up to 4 weeks following TBI, it was hypothesized that it may drive neurite outgrowth, and therefore, circuit reorganization during this time. Therefore, a novel small-molecule tool was used to target CRMP2 in an attempt to determine its importance in mossy fiber sprouting following TBI. In this report, we demonstrate novel differential regulation of CRMP2 phosphorylation by GSK3β and CDK5 following TBI.
- Wilson, S. M., Moutal, A., Melemedjian, O. K., Wang, Y., Ju, W., Francois-Moutal, L., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2014). The functionalized amino acid (S)-Lacosannide subverts CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization to prevent constitutive and activity-dependent increase in neurite outgrowth. FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE, 8.
- Wilson, S. M., Moutal, A., Melemedjian, O. K., Wang, Y., Ju, W., François-Moutal, L., Khanna, M., & Khanna, R. (2014). The functionalized amino acid (S)-Lacosamide subverts CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization to prevent constitutive and activity-dependent increase in neurite outgrowth. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 8, 196.More infoActivity-dependent neurite outgrowth is a highly complex, regulated process with important implications for neuronal circuit remodeling in development as well as in seizure-induced sprouting in epilepsy. Recent work has linked outgrowth to collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), an intracellular phosphoprotein originally identified as axon guidance and growth cone collapse protein. The neurite outgrowth promoting function of CRMP2 is regulated by its phosphorylation state. In this study, depolarization (potassium chloride)-driven activity increased the level of active CRMP2 by decreasing its phosphorylation by GSK3β via a reduction in priming by Cdk5. To determine the contribution of CRMP2 in activity-driven neurite outgrowth, we screened a limited set of compounds for their ability to reduce neurite outgrowth but not modify voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) biophysical properties. This led to the identification of (S)-lacosamide ((S)-LCM), a stereoisomer of the clinically used antiepileptic drug (R)-LCM (Vimpat®), as a novel tool for preferentially targeting CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth. Whereas (S)-LCM was ineffective in targeting VGSCs, the presumptive pharmacological targets of (R)-LCM, (S)-LCM was more efficient than (R)-LCM in subverting neurite outgrowth. Biomolecular interaction analyses revealed that (S)-LCM bound to wildtype CRMP2 with low micromolar affinity, similar to (R)-LCM. Through the use of this novel tool, the activity-dependent increase in neurite outgrowth observed following depolarization was characterized to be reliant on CRMP2 function. Knockdown of CRMP2 by siRNA in cortical neurons resulted in reduced CRMP2-dependent neurite outgrowth; incubation with (S)-LCM phenocopied this effect. Other CRMP2-mediated processes were unaffected. (S)-LCM subverted neurite outgrowth not by affecting the canonical CRMP2-tubulin association but rather by impairing the ability of CRMP2 to promote tubulin polymerization, events that are perfunctory for neurite outgrowth. Taken together, these results suggest that changes in the phosphorylation state of CRMP2 are a major contributing factor in activity-dependent regulation of neurite outgrowth.
- Dustrude, E. T., Wilson, S. M., Ju, W., Xiao, Y., & Khanna, R. (2013). CRMP2 protein SUMOylation modulates NaV1.7 channel trafficking. The Journal of biological chemistry, 288(34), 24316-31.More infoVoltage-gated sodium channel (NaV) trafficking is incompletely understood. Post-translational modifications of NaVs and/or auxiliary subunits and protein-protein interactions have been posited as NaV-trafficking mechanisms. Here, we tested if modification of the axonal collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) by a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) could affect NaV trafficking; CRMP2 alters the extent of NaV slow inactivation conferred by the anti-epileptic (R)-lacosamide, implying NaV-CRMP2 functional coupling. Expression of a CRMP2 SUMOylation-incompetent mutant (CRMP2-K374A) in neuronal model catecholamine A differentiated (CAD) cells did not alter lacosamide-induced NaV slow inactivation compared with CAD cells expressing wild type CRMP2. Like wild type CRMP2, CRMP2-K374A expressed robustly in CAD cells. Neurite outgrowth, a canonical CRMP2 function, was moderately reduced by the mutation but was still significantly higher than enhanced GFP-transfected cortical neurons. Notably, huwentoxin-IV-sensitive NaV1.7 currents, which predominate in CAD cells, were significantly reduced in CAD cells expressing CRMP2-K374A. Increasing deSUMOylation with sentrin/SUMO-specific protease SENP1 or SENP2 in wild type CRMP2-expressing CAD cells decreased NaV1.7 currents. Consistent with a reduction in current density, biotinylation revealed a significant reduction in surface NaV1.7 levels in CAD cells expressing CRMP2-K374A; surface NaV1.7 expression was also decreased by SENP1 + SENP2 overexpression. Currents in HEK293 cells stably expressing NaV1.7 were reduced by CRMP2-K374A in a manner dependent on the E2-conjugating enzyme Ubc9. No decrement in current density was observed in HEK293 cells co-expressing CRMP2-K374A and NaV1.1 or NaV1.3. Diminution of sodium currents, largely NaV1.7, was recapitulated in sensory neurons expressing CRMP2-K374A. Our study elucidates a novel regulatory mechanism that utilizes CRMP2 SUMOylation to choreograph NaV1.7 trafficking.
- Feldman, P., & Khanna, R. (2013). Challenging the catechism of therapeutics for chronic neuropathic pain: Targeting CaV2.2 interactions with CRMP2 peptides. Neuroscience letters, 557 Pt A, 27-36.More infoChronic neuropathic pain management is a worldwide concern. Pharmaceutical companies globally have historically targeted ion channels as the therapeutic catechism with many blockbuster successes. Remarkably, no new pain therapeutic has been approved by European or American regulatory agencies over the last decade. This article will provide an overview of an alternative approach to ion channel drug discovery: targeting regulators of ion channels, specifically focusing on voltage-gated calcium channels. We will highlight the discovery of an anti-nociceptive peptide derived from a novel calcium channel interacting partner - the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). In vivo administration of this peptide reduces pain behavior in a number of models of neuropathic pain without affecting sympathetic-associated cardiovascular activity, memory retrieval, sensorimotor function, or depression. A CRMP2-derived peptide analgesic, with restricted access to the CNS, represents a completely novel approach to the treatment of severe pain with an improved safety profile. As peptides now represent one of the fastest growing classes of new drugs, it is expected that peptide targeting of protein interactions within the calcium channel complex may be a paradigm shift in ion channel drug discovery.
- Ju, W., Li, Q., Allette, Y. M., Ripsch, M. S., White, F. A., & Khanna, R. (2013). Suppression of pain-related behavior in two distinct rodent models of peripheral neuropathy by a homopolyarginine-conjugated CRMP2 peptide. Journal of neurochemistry, 124(6), 869-79.More infoThe N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2) is a clinically endorsed target in chronic pain treatments. As directly targeting the channel can lead to multiple adverse side effects, targeting modulators of CaV2.2 may prove better. We previously identified ST1-104, a short peptide from the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), which disrupted the CaV2.2-CRMP2 interaction and suppressed a model of HIV-related neuropathy induced by anti-retroviral therapy but not traumatic neuropathy. Here, we report ST2-104 -a peptide wherein the cell-penetrating TAT motif has been supplanted with a homopolyarginine motif, which dose-dependently inhibits the CaV2.2-CRMP2 interaction and inhibits depolarization-evoked Ca(2+) influx in sensory neurons. Ca(2+) influx via activation of vanilloid receptors is not affected by either peptide. Systemic administration of ST2-104 does not affect thermal or tactile nociceptive behavioral changes. Importantly, ST2-104 transiently reduces persistent mechanical hypersensitivity induced by systemic administration of the anti-retroviral drug 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC) and following tibial nerve injury (TNI). Possible mechanistic explanations for the broader efficacy of ST2-104 are discussed.
- Mani, T., Wang, F., Knabe, W. E., Sinn, A. L., Khanna, M., Jo, I., Sandusky, G. E., Sledge, G. W., Jones, D. R., Khanna, R., Pollok, K. E., & Meroueh, S. O. (2013). Small-molecule inhibition of the uPAR·uPA interaction: synthesis, biochemical, cellular, in vivo pharmacokinetics and efficacy studies in breast cancer metastasis. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 21(7), 2145-55.More infoThe uPAR·uPA protein-protein interaction (PPI) is involved in signaling and proteolytic events that promote tumor invasion and metastasis. A previous study had identified 4 (IPR-803) from computational screening of a commercial chemical library and shown that the compound inhibited uPAR·uPA PPI in competition biochemical assays and invasion cellular studies. Here, we synthesize 4 to evaluate in vivo pharmacokinetic (PK) and efficacy studies in a murine breast cancer metastasis model. First, we show, using fluorescence polarization and saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR, that 4 binds directly to uPAR with sub-micromolar affinity of 0.2 μM. We show that 4 blocks invasion of breast MDA-MB-231, and inhibits matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) breakdown of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Derivatives of 4 also inhibited MMP activity and blocked invasion in a concentration-dependent manner. Compound 4 also impaired MDA-MB-231 cell adhesion and migration. Extensive in vivo PK studies in NOD-SCID mice revealed a half-life of nearly 5h and peak concentration of 5 μM. Similar levels of the inhibitor were detected in tumor tissue up to 10h. Female NSG mice inoculated with highly malignant TMD-MDA-MB-231 in their mammary fat pads showed that 4 impaired metastasis to the lungs with only four of the treated mice showing severe or marked metastasis compared to ten for the untreated mice. Compound 4 is a promising template for the development of compounds with enhanced PK parameters and greater efficacy.
- Quach, T. T., Wilson, S. M., Rogemond, V., Chounlamountri, N., Kolattukudy, P. E., Martinez, S., Khanna, M., Belin, M., Khanna, R., Honnorat, J., & Duchemin, A. (2013). Mapping CRMP3 domains involved in dendrite morphogenesis and voltage-gated calcium channel regulation. Journal of cell science, 126(Pt 18), 4262-73.More infoAlthough hippocampal neurons are well-distinguished by the morphological characteristics of their dendrites and their structural plasticity, the mechanisms involved in regulating their neurite initiation, dendrite growth, network formation and remodeling are still largely unknown, in part because the key molecules involved remain elusive. Identifying new dendrite-active cues could uncover unknown molecular mechanisms that would add significant understanding to the field and possibly lead to the development of novel neuroprotective therapy because these neurons are impaired in many neuropsychiatric disorders. In our previous studies, we deleted the gene encoding CRMP3 in mice and identified the protein as a new endogenous signaling molecule that shapes diverse features of the hippocampal pyramidal dendrites without affecting axon morphology. We also found that CRMP3 protects dendrites against dystrophy induced by prion peptide PrP(106-126). Here, we report that CRMP3 has a profound influence on neurite initiation and dendrite growth of hippocampal neurons in vitro. Our deletional mapping revealed that the C-terminus of CRMP3 probably harbors its dendritogenic capacity and supports an active transport mechanism. By contrast, overexpression of the C-terminal truncated CRMP3 phenocopied the effect of CRMP3 gene deletion with inhibition of neurite initiation or decrease in dendrite complexity, depending on the stage of cell development. In addition, this mutant inhibited the activity of CRMP3, in a similar manner to siRNA. Voltage-gated calcium channel inhibitors prevented CRMP3-induced dendritic growth and somatic Ca(2+) influx in CRMP3-overexpressing neurons was augmented largely via L-type channels. These results support a link between CRMP3-mediated Ca(2+) influx and CRMP3-mediated dendritic growth in hippocampal neurons.
- Brittain, J. M., Wang, Y., Eruvwetere, O., & Khanna, R. (2012). Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of CRMP-2 enhances its interaction with CaV2.2. FEBS letters, 586(21), 3813-8.More infoThe axon/dendrite specification collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2) bidirectionally regulates N-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (CaV2.2). But how cyclin dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5)-mediated phosphorylation of CRMP-2 affects its interaction/regulation with CaV2.2 is unknown. CRMP-2-mediated enhancement of currents via CaV2.2 was not observed with a Cdk5 phospho-null CRMP-2-S522A mutant or in cells expressing an inactive Cdk5. Concomitant knockdown of endogenous CRMP2 and overexpression of CRMP2-S522A mutant refractory to knockdown phenocopied the reduction in Ca(2+) influx while the Rho kinase CRMP2-T555A mutant was ineffective. Cdk5-phosphorylated CRMP-2 had increased association with CaV2.2. These results identify an important role for Cdk5 in CRMP2-mediated CaV2.2 regulation.
- Khanna, R., Wilson, S. M., Brittain, J. M., Weimer, J., Sultana, R., Butterfield, A., & Hensley, K. (2012). Opening Pandora's jar: a primer on the putative roles of CRMP2 in a panoply of neurodegenerative, sensory and motor neuron, and central disorders. Future neurology, 7(6), 749-771.More infoCRMP2, also known as DPYSL2/DRP2, Unc-33, Ulip or TUC2, is a cytosolic phosphoprotein that mediates axon/dendrite specification and axonal growth. Mapping the CRMP2 interactome has revealed previously unappreciated functions subserved by this protein. Together with its canonical roles in neurite growth and retraction and kinesin-dependent axonal transport, it is now known that CRMP2 interacts with numerous binding partners to affect microtubule dynamics; protein endocytosis and vesicular cycling, synaptic assembly, calcium channel regulation and neurotransmitter release. CRMP2 signaling is regulated by post-translational modifications, including glycosylation, oxidation, proteolysis and phosphorylation; the latter being a fulcrum of CRMP2 functions. Here, the putative roles of CRMP2 in a panoply of neurodegenerative, sensory and motor neuron, and central disorders are discussed and evidence is presented for therapeutic strategies targeting CRMP2 functions.
- Piekarz, A. D., Due, M. R., Khanna, M., Wang, B., Ripsch, M. S., Wang, R., Meroueh, S. O., Vasko, M. R., White, F. A., & Khanna, R. (2012). CRMP-2 peptide mediated decrease of high and low voltage-activated calcium channels, attenuation of nociceptor excitability, and anti-nociception in a model of AIDS therapy-induced painful peripheral neuropathy. Molecular pain, 8, 54.More infoThe ubiquity of protein-protein interactions in biological signaling offers ample opportunities for therapeutic intervention. We previously identified a peptide, designated CBD3, that suppressed inflammatory and neuropathic behavioral hypersensitivity in rodents by inhibiting the ability of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) to bind to N-type voltage-activated calcium channels (CaV2.2) [Brittain et al. Nature Medicine 17:822-829 (2011)].
- Ripsch, M. S., Ballard, C. J., Khanna, M., Hurley, J. H., White, F. A., & Khanna, R. (2012). A PEPTIDE UNCOUPLING CRMP-2 FROM THE PRESYNAPTIC Ca(2+) CHANNEL COMPLEX DEMONSTRATES EFFICACY IN ANIMAL MODELS OF MIGRAINE AND AIDS THERAPY-INDUCED NEUROPATHY. Translational neuroscience, 3(1), 1-8.More infoBiological, genetic, and clinical data provide compelling proof for N-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV2.2) as therapeutic targets for chronic pain. While decreasing channel function is ultimately anti-nociceptive, directly targeting the channel can lead to multiple adverse effects. Targeting regulators of channel activity may facilitate improved analgesic properties associated with channel block and afford a broader therapeutic window. Towards this end, we recently identified a short peptide, designated CBD3, derived from collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) that suppressed inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity by inhibiting CRMP-2 binding to CaV2.2 [Brittain et al., Nature Medicine 17:822-829 (2011)]. Rodents administered CBD3 intraperitoneally, fused to the HIV TAT protein cell penetrating domain, exhibited antinociception lasting ~4 hours highlighting potential instability, limited oral bioavailability, and/or rapid elimination of peptide. This report focuses on improving upon the parental CBD3 peptide. Using SPOTScan analysis of synthetic versions of the parental CBD3 peptide, we identified peptides harboring single amino acid mutations that bound with greater affinity to CaV2.2. One such peptide, harboring a phenylalanine instead of glycine (G14F), was tested in rodent models of migraine and neuropathic pain. In vivo laser Doppler blood flowmetry measure of capsaicin-induced meningeal vascular responses related to headache pain was almost completely suppressed by dural application of the G14F peptide. The G14F mutant peptide, administered intraperitoneally, also exhibited greater antinociception in Stavudine (2'-3'-didehydro-2'-3'-dideoxythymidine (d4T)/Zerit®) model of AIDS therapy-induced peripheral neuropathy compared to the parent CBD3 peptide. These results demonstrate the patent translational value of small biologic drugs targeting CaV2.2 for management of clinical pain.
- Wilson, S. M., Schmutzler, B. S., Brittain, J. M., Dustrude, E. T., Ripsch, M. S., Pellman, J. J., Yeum, T., Hurley, J. H., Hingtgen, C. M., White, F. A., & Khanna, R. (2012). Inhibition of transmitter release and attenuation of anti-retroviral-associated and tibial nerve injury-related painful peripheral neuropathy by novel synthetic Ca2+ channel peptides. The Journal of biological chemistry, 287(42), 35065-77.More infoN-type Ca(2+) channels (CaV2.2) are a nidus for neurotransmitter release and nociceptive transmission. However, the use of CaV2.2 blockers in pain therapeutics is limited by side effects resulting from inhibition of the physiological functions of CaV2.2 within the CNS. We identified an anti-nociceptive peptide (Brittain, J. M., Duarte, D. B., Wilson, S. M., Zhu, W., Ballard, C., Johnson, P. L., Liu, N., Xiong, W., Ripsch, M. S., Wang, Y., Fehrenbacher, J. C., Fitz, S. D., Khanna, M., Park, C. K., Schmutzler, B. S., Cheon, B. M., Due, M. R., Brustovetsky, T., Ashpole, N. M., Hudmon, A., Meroueh, S. O., Hingtgen, C. M., Brustovetsky, N., Ji, R. R., Hurley, J. H., Jin, X., Shekhar, A., Xu, X. M., Oxford, G. S., Vasko, M. R., White, F. A., and Khanna, R. (2011) Suppression of inflammatory and neuropathic pain by uncoupling CRMP2 from the presynaptic Ca(2+) channel complex. Nat. Med. 17, 822-829) derived from the axonal collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), a protein known to bind and enhance CaV2.2 activity. Using a peptide tiling array, we identified novel peptides within the first intracellular loop (CaV2.2(388-402), "L1") and the distal C terminus (CaV1.2(2014-2028) "Ct-dis") that bound CRMP2. Microscale thermophoresis demonstrated micromolar and nanomolar binding affinities between recombinant CRMP2 and synthetic L1 and Ct-dis peptides, respectively. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that CRMP2 association with CaV2.2 was inhibited by L1 and Ct-dis peptides. L1 and Ct-dis, rendered cell-penetrant by fusion with the protein transduction domain of the human immunodeficiency virus TAT protein, were tested in in vitro and in vivo experiments. Depolarization-induced calcium influx in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons was inhibited by both peptides. Ct-dis, but not L1, peptide inhibited depolarization-stimulated release of the neuropeptide transmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide in mouse DRG neurons. Similar results were obtained in DRGs from mice with a heterozygous mutation of Nf1 linked to neurofibromatosis type 1. Ct-dis peptide, administered intraperitoneally, exhibited antinociception in a zalcitabine (2'-3'-dideoxycytidine) model of AIDS therapy-induced and tibial nerve injury-related peripheral neuropathy. This study suggests that CaV peptides, by perturbing interactions with the neuromodulator CRMP2, contribute to suppression of neuronal hypersensitivity and nociception.
- Wilson, S. M., Xiong, W., Wang, Y., Ping, X., Head, J. D., Brittain, J. M., Gagare, P. D., Ramachandran, P. V., Jin, X., & Khanna, R. (2012). Prevention of posttraumatic axon sprouting by blocking collapsin response mediator protein 2-mediated neurite outgrowth and tubulin polymerization. Neuroscience, 210, 451-66.More infoEpileptogenesis following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is likely due to a combination of increased excitability, disinhibition, and increased excitatory connectivity via aberrant axon sprouting. Targeting these pathways could be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of posttraumatic epilepsy. Here, we tested this possibility using the novel anticonvulsant (R)-N-benzyl 2-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((R)-lacosamide [LCM]), which acts on both voltage-gated sodium channels and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), an axonal growth/guidance protein. LCM inhibited CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth, an effect phenocopied by CRMP2 knockdown. Mutation of LCM-binding sites in CRMP2 reduced the neurite inhibitory effect of LCM by ∼8-fold. LCM also reduced CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization. Thus, LCM selectively impairs CRMP2-mediated microtubule polymerization, which underlies its neurite outgrowth and branching. To determine whether LCM inhibits axon sprouting in vivo, LCM was injected into rats subjected to partial cortical isolation, an animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis that exhibits axon sprouting in cortical pyramidal neurons. Two weeks following injury, excitatory synaptic connectivity of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons was mapped using patch clamp recordings and laser scanning photostimulation of caged glutamate. In comparison with injured control animals, there was a significant decrease in the map size of excitatory synaptic connectivity in LCM-treated rats, suggesting that LCM treatment prevented enhanced excitatory synaptic connectivity due to posttraumatic axon sprouting. These findings suggest, for the first time, that LCM's mode of action involves interactions with CRMP2 to inhibit posttraumatic axon sprouting.
- Brittain, J. M., Chen, L., Wilson, S. M., Brustovetsky, T., Gao, X., Ashpole, N. M., Molosh, A. I., You, H., Hudmon, A., Shekhar, A., White, F. A., Zamponi, G. W., Brustovetsky, N., Chen, J., & Khanna, R. (2011). Neuroprotection against traumatic brain injury by a peptide derived from the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). The Journal of biological chemistry, 286(43), 37778-92.More infoNeurological disabilities following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be due to excitotoxic neuronal loss. The excitotoxic loss of neurons following TBI occurs largely due to hyperactivation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), leading to toxic levels of intracellular Ca(2+). The axon guidance and outgrowth protein collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) has been linked to NMDAR trafficking and may be involved in neuronal survival following excitotoxicity. Lentivirus-mediated CRMP2 knockdown or treatment with a CRMP2 peptide fused to HIV TAT protein (TAT-CBD3) blocked neuronal death following glutamate exposure probably via blunting toxicity from delayed calcium deregulation. Application of TAT-CBD3 attenuated postsynaptic NMDAR-mediated currents in cortical slices. In exploring modulation of NMDARs by TAT-CBD3, we found that TAT-CBD3 induced NR2B internalization in dendritic spines without altering somal NR2B surface expression. Furthermore, TAT-CBD3 reduced NMDA-mediated Ca(2+) influx and currents in cultured neurons. Systemic administration of TAT-CBD3 following a controlled cortical impact model of TBI decreased hippocampal neuronal death. These findings support TAT-CBD3 as a novel neuroprotective agent that may increase neuronal survival following injury by reducing surface expression of dendritic NR2B receptors.
- Brittain, J. M., Duarte, D. B., Wilson, S. M., Zhu, W., Ballard, C., Johnson, P. L., Liu, N., Xiong, W., Ripsch, M. S., Wang, Y., Fehrenbacher, J. C., Fitz, S. D., Khanna, M., Park, C., Schmutzler, B. S., Cheon, B. M., Due, M. R., Brustovetsky, T., Ashpole, N. M., , Hudmon, A., et al. (2011). Suppression of inflammatory and neuropathic pain by uncoupling CRMP-2 from the presynaptic Ca²⁺ channel complex. Nature medicine, 17(7), 822-9.More infoThe use of N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2) blockers to treat pain is limited by many physiological side effects. Here we report that inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity can be suppressed by inhibiting the binding of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) to CaV2.2 and thereby reducing channel function. A peptide of CRMP-2 fused to the HIV transactivator of transcription (TAT) protein (TAT-CBD3) decreased neuropeptide release from sensory neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in dorsal horn neurons, reduced meningeal blood flow, reduced nocifensive behavior induced by formalin injection or corneal capsaicin application and reversed neuropathic hypersensitivity produced by an antiretroviral drug. TAT-CBD3 was mildly anxiolytic without affecting memory retrieval, sensorimotor function or depression. At doses tenfold higher than that required to reduce hypersensitivity in vivo, TAT-CBD3 caused a transient episode of tail kinking and body contortion. By preventing CRMP-2-mediated enhancement of CaV2.2 function, TAT-CBD3 alleviated inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity, an approach that may prove useful in managing chronic pain.
- Khanna, M., Wang, F., Jo, I., Knabe, W. E., Wilson, S. M., Li, L., Bum-Erdene, K., Li, J., W Sledge, G., Khanna, R., & Meroueh, S. O. (2011). Targeting multiple conformations leads to small molecule inhibitors of the uPAR·uPA protein-protein interaction that block cancer cell invasion. ACS chemical biology, 6(11), 1232-43.More infoInteraction of the urokinase receptor (uPAR) with its binding partners such as the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) at the cell surface triggers a series of proteolytic and signaling events that promote invasion and metastasis. Here, we report the discovery of a small molecule (IPR-456) and its derivatives that inhibit the tight uPAR·uPA protein-protein interaction. IPR-456 was discovered by virtual screening against multiple conformations of uPAR sampled from explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations. Biochemical characterization reveal that the compound binds to uPAR with submicromolar affinity (K(d) = 310 nM) and inhibits the tight protein-protein interaction with an IC(50) of 10 μM. Free energy calculations based on explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations suggested the importance of a carboxylate moiety on IPR-456, which was confirmed by the activity of several derivatives including IPR-803. Immunofluorescence imaging showed that IPR-456 inhibited uPA binding to uPAR of breast MDA-MB-231 tumor cells with an IC(50) of 8 μM. The compounds blocked MDA-MB-231 cell invasion, but IPR-456 showed little effect on MDA-MB-231 migration and no effect on adhesion, suggesting that uPAR mediates these processes through its other binding partners.
- Quach, T. T., Wang, Y., Khanna, R., Chounlamountri, N., Auvergnon, N., Honnorat, J., & Duchemin, A. (2011). Effect of CRMP3 expression on dystrophic dendrites of hippocampal neurons. Molecular psychiatry, 16(7), 689-91.
- Wang, Y., & Khanna, R. (2011). VOLTAGE-GATED CALCIUM CHANNELS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE NOVEL ANTI-EPILEPTIC DRUG LACOSAMIDE. Translational neuroscience, 2(1), 13-22.More infoThe novel anti-epileptic drug lacosamide targets two proteins - voltage-gated sodium channels and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) - suggesting dual modes of action for lacosamide. We recently identified the neurite outgrowth and axonal guidance protein CRMP-2 as a novel partner and regulator of the presynaptic N-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel (CaV2.2) [Brittain et al., J. Biol. Chem. 284: 31375-31390 (2009)]. Here we examined the effects of lacosamide on voltage-gated Ba(2+) channels. Lacosamide did not affect Ba(2+) currents via N- and P/Q- channels in rat hippocampal neurons or L-type Ca(2+) channels in a mouse CNS neuronal cell line, respectively. N-type Ba(2+) currents, augmented by CRMP-2 expression, were also unaffected by acute or chronic lacosamide exposure. These results establish that the anti-epileptic mode of action of lacosamide does not involve these voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels.
- Wang, Y., Brittain, J. M., Jarecki, B. W., Park, K. D., Wilson, S. M., Wang, B., Hale, R., Meroueh, S. O., Cummins, T. R., & Khanna, R. (2010). In silico docking and electrophysiological characterization of lacosamide binding sites on collapsin response mediator protein-2 identifies a pocket important in modulating sodium channel slow inactivation. The Journal of biological chemistry, 285(33), 25296-307.More infoThe anti-epileptic drug (R)-lacosamide ((2R)-2-(acetylamino)-N-benzyl-3-methoxypropanamide (LCM)) modulates voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) by preferentially interacting with slow inactivated sodium channels, but the observation that LCM binds to collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) suggests additional mechanisms of action for LCM. We postulated that CRMP-2 levels affects the actions of LCM on VGSCs. CRMP-2 labeling by LCM analogs was competitively displaced by excess LCM in rat brain lysates. Manipulation of CRMP-2 levels in the neuronal model system CAD cells affected slow inactivation of VGSCs without any effects on other voltage-dependent properties. In silico docking was performed to identify putative binding sites in CRMP-2 that may modulate the effects of LCM on VGSCs. These studies identified five cavities in CRMP-2 that can accommodate LCM. CRMP-2 alanine mutants of key residues within these cavities were functionally similar to wild-type CRMP-2 as assessed by similar levels of enhancement in dendritic complexity of cortical neurons. Next, we examined the effects of expression of wild-type and mutant CRMP-2 constructs on voltage-sensitive properties of VGSCs in CAD cells: 1) steady-state voltage-dependent activation and fast-inactivation properties were not affected by LCM, 2) CRMP-2 single alanine mutants reduced the LCM-mediated effects on the ability of endogenous Na(+) channels to transition to a slow inactivated state, and 3) a quintuplicate CRMP-2 alanine mutant further decreased this slow inactivated fraction. Collectively, these results identify key CRMP-2 residues that can coordinate LCM binding thus making it more effective on its primary clinical target.
- Wang, Y., Brittain, J. M., Wilson, S. M., & Khanna, R. (2010). Emerging roles of collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) as regulators of voltage-gated calcium channels and synaptic transmission. Communicative & integrative biology, 3(2), 172-5.More infoPresynaptic N-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (Cav2.2) form part of an extensive macromolecular complex in the presynaptic terminal. Regulation of Cav2.2 is achieved via protein-protein interactions within the terminal and can directly impact transmitter release which is dependent on Ca(2+) influx via these Cav2.2. We recently identified a novel Cav2.2 interacting partner-the collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP).1 CRMPs are a family of five proteins implicated in signal transduction of neurite outgrowth and axonal guidance. We showed that CRMP-2, a wellstudied member of this family, interacted with Cav2.2 via direct binding to cytoplasmic loops of Cav2.2. Depolarization enhanced the interaction. Further studies revealed that CRMP-2 facilitated an increase in Cav2.2 current density by inserting more Cav2.2 at the cell surface. As a consequence of CRMP-2-mediated increase in Ca(2+) influx, release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate was also increased. CRMP-2 localized to synapses where, surprisingly, its overexpression increased synapse size. We hypothesize that the CRMP-2-calcium channel interaction represents a novel mechanism for modulation of Ca(2+) influx into nerve terminals and, hence, of synaptic strength. In this addendum, we further discuss the significance of this study and the possible implications to the field.
- Brittain, J. M., Piekarz, A. D., Wang, Y., Kondo, T., Cummins, T. R., & Khanna, R. (2009). An atypical role for collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) in neurotransmitter release via interaction with presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels. The Journal of biological chemistry, 284(45), 31375-90.More infoCollapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) specify axon/dendrite fate and axonal growth of neurons through protein-protein interactions. Their functions in presynaptic biology remain unknown. Here, we identify the presynaptic N-type Ca(2+) channel (CaV2.2) as a CRMP-2-interacting protein. CRMP-2 binds directly to CaV2.2 in two regions: the channel domain I-II intracellular loop and the distal C terminus. Both proteins co-localize within presynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons. Overexpression in hippocampal neurons of a CRMP-2 protein fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein caused a significant increase in Ca(2+) channel current density, whereas lentivirus-mediated CRMP-2 knockdown abolished this effect. Interestingly, the increase in Ca(2+) current density was not due to a change in channel gating. Rather, cell surface biotinylation studies showed an increased number of CaV2.2 at the cell surface in CRMP-2-overexpressing neurons. These neurons also exhibited a significant increase in vesicular release in response to a depolarizing stimulus. Depolarization of CRMP-2-enhanced green fluorescent protein-overexpressing neurons elicited a significant increase in release of glutamate compared with control neurons. Toxin block of Ca(2+) entry via CaV2.2 abolished this stimulated release. Thus, the CRMP-2-Ca(2+) channel interaction represents a novel mechanism for modulation of Ca(2+) influx into nerve terminals and, hence, of synaptic strength.
- Chi, X. X., Schmutzler, B. S., Brittain, J. M., Wang, Y., Hingtgen, C. M., Nicol, G. D., & Khanna, R. (2009). Regulation of N-type voltage-gated calcium channels (Cav2.2) and transmitter release by collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2) in sensory neurons. Journal of cell science, 122(Pt 23), 4351-62.More infoCollapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) mediate signal transduction of neurite outgrowth and axonal guidance during neuronal development. Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels and interacting proteins are essential in neuronal signaling and synaptic transmission during this period. We recently identified the presynaptic N-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel (Cav2.2) as a CRMP-2-interacting partner. Here, we investigated the effects of a functional association of CRMP-2 with Cav2.2 in sensory neurons. Cav2.2 colocalized with CRMP-2 at immature synapses and growth cones, in mature synapses and in cell bodies of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that CRMP-2 associates with Cav2.2 from DRG lysates. Overexpression of CRMP-2 fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in DRG neurons, via nucleofection, resulted in a significant increase in Cav2.2 current density compared with cells expressing EGFP. CRMP-2 manipulation changed the surface levels of Cav2.2. Because CRMP-2 is localized to synaptophysin-positive puncta in dense DRG cultures, we tested whether this CRMP-2-mediated alteration of Ca(2+) currents culminated in changes in synaptic transmission. Following a brief high-K(+)-induced stimulation, these puncta became loaded with FM4-64 dye. In EGFP and neurons expressing CRMP-2-EGFP, similar densities of FM-loaded puncta were observed. Finally, CRMP-2 overexpression in DRG increased release of the immunoreactive neurotransmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide (iCGRP) by approximately 70%, whereas siRNA targeting CRMP-2 significantly reduced release of iCGRP by approximately 54% compared with control cultures. These findings support a novel role for CRMP-2 in the regulation of N-type Ca(2+) channels and in transmitter release.
- Khanna, R., Li, Q., Bewersdorf, J., & Stanley, E. F. (2007). The presynaptic CaV2.2 channel-transmitter release site core complex. The European journal of neuroscience, 26(3), 547-59.More infoCaV2.2 channels play a key role in the gating of transmitter release sites (TRS) at presynaptic terminals. Physiological studies predict that the channels are linked directly to the TRS but the molecular composition of this complex remains poorly understood. We have used a high-affinity anti-CaV2.2 antibody, Ab571, to test a range of proteins known to contribute to TRS function for both an association in situ and a link in vitro. CaV2.2 clusters were isolated intact on immunoprecipitation beads and coprecipitated with a number of these proteins. Quantitative staining covariance analysis (ICA/ICQ method) was applied to the transmitter release face of the giant calyx terminal in the chick ciliary ganglion to test for TRS proteins with staining intensities that covary in situ with CaV2.2, resulting in a covariance sequence of NSF>RIM>spectrin>Munc18>VAMP>alpha-catenin, CASK>SV2>Na+-K+ approximately 0. A high-NaCl dissociation challenge applied to the immunoprecipitated complex, using the fractional recovery (FR) method [Khanna, R., Li, Q. & Stanley, E.F. (2006) PLoS.ONE., 1, e67], was used to test which proteins were most intimately associated with the channel, generating an FR sequence for CaV2.2 of: VAMP>or=actin>tubulin, NSF, Munc18, syntaxin 1>spectrin>CASK, SNAP25>RIM, Na+-K+ pump, v-ATPase, beta-catenin approximately 0. Proteins associated with endocytosis are considered in a companion paper [Khanna et al. (2007)Eur. J. Neurosci., 26, 560-574]. With the exception of VAMP and RIM, the ICQ and FR sequences were consistent, suggesting that proteins that covary the most strongly with CaV2.2 in situ are also the most intimately attached. Our findings suggest that the CaV2.2 cluster is an integral element of a multimolecular vesicle-fusion module that forms the core of a multifunctional TRS.
- Khanna, R., Li, Q., Schlichter, L. C., & Stanley, E. F. (2007). The transmitter release-site CaV2.2 channel cluster is linked to an endocytosis coat protein complex. The European journal of neuroscience, 26(3), 560-74.More infoSynaptic vesicles (SVs) are triggered to fuse with the surface membrane at the presynaptic transmitter release site (TRSs) core by Ca2+ influx through nearby attached CaV2.2 channels [see accompanying paper: Khanna et al. (2007)Eur. J. Neurosci., 26, 547-559] and are then recovered by endocytosis. In this study we test the hypothesis that the TRS core is linked to an endocytosis-related protein complex. This was tested by immunostaining analysis of the chick ciliary ganglion calyx presynaptic terminal and biochemical analysis of synaptosome lysate, using CaV2.2 as a marker for the TRS. We noted that CaV2.2 clusters abut heavy-chain (H)-clathrin patches at the transmitter release face. Quantitative coimmunostaining analysis (ICA/ICQ method) demonstrated a strong covariance of release-face CaV2.2 staining with that for the AP180 and intersectin endocytosis adaptor proteins, and a moderate covariance with H- or light-chain (L)-clathrin and dynamin coat proteins, consistent with a multimolecular complex. This was supported by coprecipitation of these proteins with CaV2.2 from brain synaptosome lysate. Interestingly, the channel neither colocalized nor coprecipitated with the endocytosis cargo-capturing adaptor AP2, even though this protein both colocalized and coprecipitated with H-clathrin. Fractional recovery analysis of the immunoprecipitated CaV2.2 complex by exposure to high NaCl (approximately 1 m) indicated that AP180 and S-intersectin adaptors are tightly bound to CaV2.2 while L-intersectin, H- and L-clathrin and dynamin form a less tightly linked subcomplex. Our results are consistent with two distinct clathrin endocytosis complexes: an AP2-containing, remote, non-TRS complex and a specialised, AP2-lacking, TRS-associated subcomplex linked via a molecular bridge. The most probable role of this subcomplex is to facilitate SV recovery after transmitter release.
- Khanna, R., Zougman, A., & Stanley, E. F. (2007). A proteomic screen for presynaptic terminal N-type calcium channel (CaV2.2) binding partners. Journal of biochemistry and molecular biology, 40(3), 302-14.More infoN type calcium channels (CaV2.2) play a key role in the gating of transmitter release at presynaptic nerve terminals. These channels are generally regarded as parts of a multimolecular complex that can modulate their open probability and ensure their location near the vesicle docking and fusion sites. However, the proteins that comprise this component remain poorly characterized. We have carried out the first open screen of presynaptic CaV2.2 complex members by an antibody-mediated capture of the channel from purified rat brain synaptosome lysate followed by mass spectroscopy. 589 unique peptides resulted in a high confidence match of 104 total proteins and 40 synaptosome proteome proteins. This screen identified several known CaV2.2 interacting proteins including syntaxin 1, VAMP, protein phosphatase 2A, G(O alpha), G beta and spectrin and also a number of novel proteins, including clathrin, adaptin, dynamin, dynein, NSF and actin. The unexpected proteins were classified within a number of functional classes that include exocytosis, endocytosis, cytoplasmic matrix, modulators, chaperones, and cell-signaling molecules and this list was contrasted to previous reports that catalogue the synaptosome proteome. The failure to detect any postsynaptic density proteins suggests that the channel itself does not exhibit stable trans-synaptic attachments. Our results suggest that the channel is anchored to a cytoplasmic matrix related to the previously described particle web.
- Khanna, R., Li, Q., & Stanley, E. F. (2006). 'Fractional recovery' analysis of a presynaptic synaptotagmin 1-anchored endocytic protein complex. PloS one, 1, e67.More infoThe integral synaptic vesicle protein and putative calcium sensor, synaptotagmin 1 (STG), has also been implicated in synaptic vesicle (SV) recovery. However, proteins with which STG interacts during SV endocytosis remain poorly understood. We have isolated an STG-associated endocytic complex (SAE) from presynaptic nerve terminals and have used a novel fractional recovery (FR) assay based on electrostatic dissociation to identify SAE components and map the complex structure. The location of SAE in the presynaptic terminal was determined by high-resolution quantitative immunocytochemistry at the chick ciliary ganglion giant calyx-type synapse.
- Khanna, R., Li, Q., Sun, L., Collins, T. J., & Stanley, E. F. (2006). N type Ca2+ channels and RIM scaffold protein covary at the presynaptic transmitter release face but are components of independent protein complexes. Neuroscience, 140(4), 1201-8.More infoFast neurotransmitter release at presynaptic terminals occurs at specialized transmitter release sites where docked secretory vesicles are triggered to fuse with the membrane by the influx of Ca2+ ions that enter through local N type (CaV2.2) calcium channels. Thus, neurosecretion involves two key processes: the docking of vesicles at the transmitter release site, a process that involves the scaffold protein RIM (Rab3A interacting molecule) and its binding partner Munc-13, and the subsequent gating of vesicle fusion by activation of the Ca2+ channels. It is not known, however, whether the vesicle fusion complex with its attached Ca2+ channels and the vesicle docking complex are parts of a single multifunctional entity. The Ca2+ channel itself and RIM were used as markers for these two elements to address this question. We carried out immunostaining at the giant calyx-type synapse of the chick ciliary ganglion to localize the proteins at a native, undisturbed presynaptic nerve terminal. Quantitative immunostaining (intensity correlation analysis/intensity correlation quotient method) was used to test the relationship between these two proteins at the nerve terminal transmitter release face. The staining intensities for CaV2.2 and RIM covary strongly, consistent with the expectation that they are both components of the transmitter release sites. We then used immunoprecipitation to test if these proteins are also parts of a common molecular complex. However, precipitation of CaV2.2 failed to capture either RIM or Munc-13, a RIM binding partner. These findings indicate that although the vesicle fusion and the vesicle docking mechanisms coexist at the transmitter release face they are not parts of a common stable complex.
- Khanna, R., Sun, L., Li, Q., Guo, L., & Stanley, E. F. (2006). Long splice variant N type calcium channels are clustered at presynaptic transmitter release sites without modular adaptor proteins. Neuroscience, 138(4), 1115-25.More infoThe presynaptic N type Ca channel (CaV2.2) is associated with the transmitter release site apparatus and plays a critical role in the gating of transmitter release. It has been suggested that a distinct CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant is targeted to the nerve terminal and is anchored at the release face by calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK) and Munc-18-interacting protein (MINT), two modular adaptor proteins. We used the isolated chick ciliary ganglion calyx terminal together with two new antibodies (L4569, L4570) selective for CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant to test these hypotheses. CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant was present at the presynaptic transmitter release sites, as identified by Rab3a-interacting molecule (RIM) co-staining and quantitative immunocytochemistry. CASK was also present at the terminal both in conjunction with, and independent of its binding partner, MINT. Immunoprecipitation of CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant from brain lysate coprecipitated CASK, confirming that these two proteins can form a complex. However, CASK was not colocalized either with CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant or the transmitter release site marker RIM at the calyx terminal release face. Neither was MINT colocalized with CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant. Our results show that native CaV2.2 long C terminal splice variant is targeted to the transmitter release sites at an intact presynaptic terminal. However, the lack of enrichment of CASK at the release site combined with the failure of this protein or its partner MINT to colocalize with CaV2.2 argues against the idea that these modular adaptor proteins anchor CaV2.2 at presynaptic nerve terminals.
- Sun, L., Li, Q., Khanna, R., Chan, A. W., Wong, F., & Stanley, E. F. (2006). Transmitter release face Ca2+ channel clusters persist at isolated presynaptic terminals. The European journal of neuroscience, 23(5), 1391-6.More infoCa(2+) influx through N-type Ca(2+) channels (CaV2.2) is known to be critical for transmitter release at many synapses. These channels are known to be localized to transmitter release sites, but their anchoring mechanism remains unknown. Recent studies have demonstrated that presynaptic organization is subject to interactions with the postsynaptic cell or the intervening extracellular matrix. We used a previously described high-affinity antibody against the N-type Ca(2+) channels, Ab571, to localize Ca(2+) channel clusters at the release face of an isolated giant calyx-type synapse to test whether the maintenance of these clusters requires an intact extracellular matrix or contact with the postsynaptic cell. Because the number of Ca(2+) channel clusters was unchanged after extracellular matrix dispersal or nerve terminal isolation, we conclude that presynaptic transmitter release face Ca(2+) clusters can be maintained independently of extracellular influences. Our results suggest that a presynaptic molecular scaffold is responsible for the maintenance of release site Ca(2+) channel clusters.
- Wan, J., Khanna, R., Sandusky, M., Papazian, D. M., Jen, J. C., & Baloh, R. W. (2005). CACNA1A mutations causing episodic and progressive ataxia alter channel trafficking and kinetics. Neurology, 64(12), 2090-7.More infoCACNA1A encodes CaV2.1, the pore-forming subunit of P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channel complexes. Mutations in CACNA1A cause a wide range of neurologic disturbances variably associated with cerebellar degeneration. Functional studies to date focus on electrophysiologic defects that do not adequately explain the phenotypic findings.
- Khanna, R., Lee, E. J., & Papazian, D. M. (2004). Transient calnexin interaction confers long-term stability on folded K+ channel protein in the ER. Journal of cell science, 117(Pt 14), 2897-908.More infoWe recently showed that an unglycosylated form of the Shaker potassium channel protein is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and degraded by proteasomes in mammalian cells despite apparently normal folding and assembly. These results suggest that channel proteins with a native structure can be substrates for ER-associated degradation. We have now tested this hypothesis using the wild-type Shaker protein. Wild-type Shaker is degraded by cytoplasmic proteasomes when it is trapped in the ER and prevented from interacting with calnexin. Neither condition alone is sufficient to destabilize the protein. Proteasomal degradation of the wild-type protein is abolished when ER mannosidase I trimming of the core glycan is inhibited. Our results indicate that transient interaction with calnexin provides long-term protection from ER-associated degradation.
- Myers, M. P., Khanna, R., Lee, E. J., & Papazian, D. M. (2004). Voltage sensor mutations differentially target misfolded K+ channel subunits to proteasomal and non-proteasomal disposal pathways. FEBS letters, 568(1-3), 110-6.More infoIn Shaker K(+) channels, formation of an electrostatic interaction between two charged residues, D316 and K374 in transmembrane segments S3 and S4, respectively, is a key step in voltage sensor biogenesis. Mutations D316K and K374E disrupt formation of the voltage sensor and lead to endoplasmic reticulum retention. We have now investigated the fates of these misfolded proteins. Both are significantly less stable than the wild-type protein. D316K is degraded by cytoplasmic proteasomes, whereas K374E is degraded by a lactacystin-insensitive, non-proteasomal pathway. Our results suggest that the D316K and K374E proteins are misfolded in recognizably different ways, an observation with implications for voltage sensor biogenesis.
- Koni, P. A., Khanna, R., Chang, M. C., Tang, M. D., Kaczmarek, L. K., Schlichter, L. C., & Flavella, R. A. (2003). Compensatory anion currents in Kv1.3 channel-deficient thymocytes. The Journal of biological chemistry, 278(41), 39443-51.More infoKv1.3 is a voltage-gated potassium channel with roles in human T cell activation/proliferation, cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and volume regulation and is thus a target for therapeutic control of T cell responses. Kv1.3 is also present in some mouse thymocyte subsets and splenocytes, but its role in the mouse is less well understood. We report the generation and characterization of Kv1.3-deficient (Kv1.3-/-) mice. In contrast to wild-type cells, the majority of Kv1.3-/- thymocytes had no detectable voltage-dependent potassium current, although RNA and protein for several potassium channel subunits were found in the thymocyte population. Surprisingly, the level of chloride current in the Kv1.3-/- thymocytes was increased approximately 50-fold over that in wild-type cells. There were no abnormalities in lymphocyte types or absolute numbers in thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes and no obvious defect in thymocyte apoptosis or T cell proliferation in the Kv1.3-/- animals. The compensatory effects of the enhanced chloride current may account for the apparent lack of immune system defects in Kv1.3-/-mice.
- Chang, M. C., Khanna, R., & Schlichter, L. C. (2001). Regulation of Kv1.3 channels in activated human T lymphocytes by Ca(2+)-dependent pathways. Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, 11(3), 123-34.More infoActivated T lymphoblasts respond more effectively to mitogenic stimuli than resting T cells, partly through differences in Ca(2+) signaling, which in turn depend on K(+) channel activity. Both Kv1.3 and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK4) channels are up-regulated in T lymphoblasts. Since Ca(2+)- and calmodulin (CaM)-dependent signal-ing are key pathways in T-cell activation, we investigated their involvement in regulating the Kv1.3 current. Kv1.3 in lymphoblasts was significantly inhibited by elevating internal Ca(2+) to the micromolar level. It was also reduced in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner by inhibiting CaM with W-7 or calmidazolium. Part of the CaM-dependence is likely through CaM kinase since the current was also inhibited by the antagonist, KN-62, but not by the inactive analogue, KN-04. Kinase inhibition, unlike CaM inhibition, was only effective at physiological temperatures, a difference that implies involvement of more than one mechanism. We demonstrated a biochemical association of Kv1.3 protein in lymphoblasts with the multifunctional type II CaM kinase, but not with calmodulin. Thus, Kv1.3 forms a multi-protein complex with CaM kinase II (which binds to Ca(2+)/CaM) and previously identified proteins (e.g., PSD-95, src tyrosine kinase) that position the channel to respond to signaling pathways that are crucial for T-cell activation and proliferation.
- Joiner, W. J., Khanna, R., Schlichter, L. C., & Kaczmarek, L. K. (2001). Calmodulin regulates assembly and trafficking of SK4/IK1 Ca2+-activated K+ channels. The Journal of biological chemistry, 276(41), 37980-5.More infoCalmodulin (CaM) regulates gating of several types of ion channels but has not been implicated in channel assembly or trafficking. For the SK4/IK1 K+ channel, CaM bound to the proximal C terminus ("Ct1 " domain) acts as the Ca2+ sensor. We now show that CaM interacting with the C terminus of SK4 also controls channel assembly and surface expression. In transfected cells, removing free CaM by overexpressing the CaM-binding domain, Ct1, redistributed full-length SK4 protein from the plasma membrane to the cytoplasm and decreased whole-cell currents. Making more CaM protein available by overexpressing the CaM gene abrogated the dominant-negative effect of Ct1 and restored both surface expression of SK4 protein and whole-cell currents. The distal C-terminal domain ("Ct2") also plays a role in assembly, but is not CaM-dependent. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that multimerization of SK4 subunits was enhanced by CaM and inhibited by removal of CaM, indicating that CaM regulates trafficking of SK4 by affecting the assembly of channels. Our results support a model in which CaM-dependent association of SK4 monomers at their Ct1 domains regulates channel assembly and surface expression. This appears to represent a novel mechanism for controlling ion channels, and consequently, the cellular functions that depend on them.
- Khanna, R., Myers, M. P., Lainé, M., & Papazian, D. M. (2001). Glycosylation increases potassium channel stability and surface expression in mammalian cells. The Journal of biological chemistry, 276(36), 34028-34.More infoN-linked glycosylation is not required for the cell surface expression of functional Shaker potassium channels in Xenopus oocytes (Santacruz-Toloza, L., Huang, Y., John, S. A., and Papazian, D. M. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 5607-5613). We have now investigated whether glycosylation increases the stability, cell surface expression, and proper folding of Shaker protein expressed in mammalian cells. The turnover rates of wild-type protein and an unglycosylated mutant (N259Q,N263Q) were compared in pulse-chase experiments. The wild-type protein was stable, showing little degradation after 48 h. In contrast, the unglycosylated mutant was rapidly degraded (t(1/2) = approximately 18 h). Lactacystin slowed the degradation of the mutant protein, implicating cytoplasmic proteasomes in its turnover. Rapid lactacystin-sensitive degradation could be conferred on wild-type Shaker by a glycosylation inhibitor. Expression of the unglycosylated mutant on the cell surface, assessed using immunofluorescence microscopy and biotinylation, was dramatically reduced compared with wild type. Folding and assembly were analyzed by oxidizing intersubunit disulfide bonds, which provides a fortuitous hallmark of the native structure. Surprisingly, formation of disulfide-bonded adducts was quantitatively similar in the wild-type and unglycosylated mutant proteins. Our results indicate that glycosylation increases the stability and cell surface expression of Shaker protein but has little effect on acquisition of the native structure.
- Khanna, R., Roy, L., Zhu, X., & Schlichter, L. C. (2001). K+ channels and the microglial respiratory burst. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology, 280(4), C796-806.More infoMicroglial activation following central nervous system damage or disease often culminates in a respiratory burst that is necessary for antimicrobial function, but, paradoxically, can damage bystander cells. We show that several K+ channels are expressed and play a role in the respiratory burst of cultured rat microglia. Three pharmacologically separable K+ currents had properties of Kv1.3 and the Ca2+/calmodulin-gated channels, SK2, SK3, and SK4. mRNA was detected for Kv1.3, Kv1.5, SK2, and/or SK3, and SK4. Protein was detected for Kv1.3, Kv1.5, and SK3 (selective SK2 and SK4 antibodies not available). No Kv1.5-like current was detected, and confocal immunofluorescence showed the protein to be subcellular, in contrast to the robust membrane localization of Kv1.3. To determine whether any of these channels play a role in microglial activation, a respiratory burst was stimulated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and measured using a single cell, fluorescence-based dihydrorhodamine 123 assay. The respiratory burst was markedly inhibited by blockers of SK2 (apamin) and SK4 channels (clotrimazole and charybdotoxin), and to a lesser extent, by the potent Kv1.3 blocker agitoxin-2.
- Cayabyab, F. S., Khanna, R., Jones, O. T., & Schlichter, L. C. (2000). Suppression of the rat microglia Kv1.3 current by src-family tyrosine kinases and oxygen/glucose deprivation. The European journal of neuroscience, 12(6), 1949-60.More infoMicroglia activate following numerous acute insults to the brain, including oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD), and both protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and K+ channels have been implicated in their activation. We identified Kv1.3 (voltage-gated potassium channel) protein in cultured rat microglia and confirmed that the native current is biophysically and pharmacologically similar to Kv1. 3. To explore whether src-family PTKs regulate the microglial Kv current, we first heterologously expressed Kv1.3 in a microglia-like cell line derived from neonatal rat brain (MLS-9). The resulting large Kv1.3 current was eliminated by co-transfecting the constitutively active PTK, v-src, then rapidly restored by the PTK inhibitor, lavendustin A. Acute activation of endogenous src kinases by a peptide activator significantly reduced the current, an effect that was mimicked by OGD. Similarly, in primary cultures of rat microglia, the endogenous Kv1.3-like current was inhibited by activating endogenous src-family PTKs and by OGD. Biochemical analysis showed that OGD increased the tyrosine phosphorylation of native Kv1.3 protein, which was alleviated by PTK inhibitors or reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers. Conversely, the basal level of Kv1.3 phosphorylation was decreased by PTK inhibitors or scavengers of ROS. Together, our results point to a post-insertional downregulation of the microglial Kv1.3-like current by oxidative stress and tyrosine phosphorylation. This interaction may be facilitated by a multiprotein complex because, in cultured microglia, the endogenous Kv1.3 and src proteins both bind to the scaffolding protein, post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95). By associating with, and phosphorylating Kv1.3, src is well positioned to regulate microglial responses to oxidative stress.
- Jugloff, D. G., Khanna, R., Schlichter, L. C., & Jones, O. T. (2000). Internalization of the Kv1.4 potassium channel is suppressed by clustering interactions with PSD-95. The Journal of biological chemistry, 275(2), 1357-64.More infoThe contribution of voltage-dependent ion channels to nerve function depends upon their cell-surface distributions. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying channel localization are poorly understood. Two phenomena appear particularly important: the clustering of channels by membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs), such as PSD-95, and the regional stabilization of cell-surface proteins by differential suppression of endocytosis. Could these phenomena be related? To test this possibility we examined the effect of PSD-95 on the internalization rate of Kv1.4 K(+) channels in transfected HEK293 cells using cell-surface biotinylation assays. When expressed alone Kv1.4 was internalized with a half-life of 87 min, but, in the presence of PSD-95, Kv1.4 internalization was completely suppressed. Immunochemistry and electrophysiology showed PSD-95 had little effect on total or cell-surface levels of Kv1.4 or on current amplitude, activation, or inactivation kinetics. Clustering was necessary and sufficient to suppress Kv1.4 internalization since C35S-PSD-95, a mutant reported to bind but not cluster Kv1.4, (confirmed by imaging cells co-expressing a functional, GFP-variant-tagged Kv1.4) restored and, surprisingly, enhanced the rate of Kv1.4 internalization (t((1)/(2)) = 16 min). These data argue PSD-95-mediated clustering suppresses Kv1.4 internalization and suggest a fundamentally new role for PSD-95, and perhaps other MAGUKs, orchestrating the stabilization of channels at the cell-surface.
- Khanna, R., Chang, M. C., Joiner, W. J., Kaczmarek, L. K., & Schlichter, L. C. (1999). hSK4/hIK1, a calmodulin-binding KCa channel in human T lymphocytes. Roles in proliferation and volume regulation. The Journal of biological chemistry, 274(21), 14838-49.More infoHuman T lymphocytes express a Ca2+-activated K+ current (IK), whose roles and regulation are poorly understood. We amplified hSK4 cDNA from human T lymphoblasts, and we showed that its biophysical and pharmacological properties when stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells were essentially identical to the native IK current. In activated lymphoblasts, hSK4 mRNA increased 14.6-fold (Kv1.3 mRNA increased 1.3-fold), with functional consequences. Proliferation was inhibited when Kv1.3 and IK were blocked in naive T cells, but IK block alone inhibited re-stimulated lymphoblasts. IK and Kv1.3 were involved in volume regulation, but IK was more important, particularly in lymphoblasts. hSK4 lacks known Ca2+-binding sites; however, we mapped a Ca2+-dependent calmodulin (CaM)-binding site to the proximal C terminus (Ct1) of hSK4. Full-length hSK4 produced a highly negative membrane potential (Vm) in Chinese hamster ovary cells, whereas the channels did not function when either Ct1 or the distal C terminus was deleted (Vm approximately 0 mV). Native IK (but not expressed hSK4) current was inhibited by CaM and CaM kinase antagonists at physiological Vm values, suggesting modulation by an accessory molecule in native cells. Our results provide evidence for increased roles for IK/hSK4 in activated T cell functions; thus hSK4 may be a promising therapeutic target for disorders involving the secondary immune response.