Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin (NT) essential for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. Dysregulation of BDNF signaling is implicated in different neurological disorders. The direct NT administration as therapeutics has revealed to be challenging. This has prompted the design of peptides mimicking different regions of the BDNF structure. Although loops 2 and 4 have been thoroughly investigated, less is known regarding the BDNF N-terminal region, which is involved in the selective recognition of the TrkB receptor. Herein, a dimeric form of the linear peptide encompassing the 1-12 residues of the BDNF N-terminal (d-bdnf) was synthesized. It demonstrated to act as an agonist promoting specific phosphorylation of TrkB and downstream ERK and AKT effectors. The ability to promote TrkB dimerization was investigated by advanced fluorescence microscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, finding activation modes shared with BDNF. Furthermore, d-bdnf was able to sustain neurite outgrowth and increase the expression of differentiation (NEFM, LAMC1) and polarization markers (MAP2, MAPT) demonstrating its neurotrophic activity. As TrkB activity is affected by zinc ions in the synaptic cleft, we first verified the ability of d-bdnf to coordinate zinc and then the effect of such complexation on its activity. The d-bdnf neurotrophic activity was reduced by zinc complexation, demonstrating the role of the latter in tuning the activity of the new peptido-mimetic. Taken together our data uncover the neurotrophic properties of a novel BDNF mimetic peptide and pave the way for future studies to understand the pharmacological basis of d-bdnf action and develop novel BDNF-based therapeutic strategies.

Neurotrophic Activity and Its Modulation by Zinc Ion of a Dimeric Peptide Mimicking the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor N-Terminal Region

Russo, Lara
Co-primo
;
Giacomelli, Chiara
Co-primo
;
Marzo, Tiziano;Pratesi, Alessandro;Martini, Claudia;Marchetti, Laura
;
La Mendola, Diego
;
Trincavelli, Maria Letizia
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin (NT) essential for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. Dysregulation of BDNF signaling is implicated in different neurological disorders. The direct NT administration as therapeutics has revealed to be challenging. This has prompted the design of peptides mimicking different regions of the BDNF structure. Although loops 2 and 4 have been thoroughly investigated, less is known regarding the BDNF N-terminal region, which is involved in the selective recognition of the TrkB receptor. Herein, a dimeric form of the linear peptide encompassing the 1-12 residues of the BDNF N-terminal (d-bdnf) was synthesized. It demonstrated to act as an agonist promoting specific phosphorylation of TrkB and downstream ERK and AKT effectors. The ability to promote TrkB dimerization was investigated by advanced fluorescence microscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, finding activation modes shared with BDNF. Furthermore, d-bdnf was able to sustain neurite outgrowth and increase the expression of differentiation (NEFM, LAMC1) and polarization markers (MAP2, MAPT) demonstrating its neurotrophic activity. As TrkB activity is affected by zinc ions in the synaptic cleft, we first verified the ability of d-bdnf to coordinate zinc and then the effect of such complexation on its activity. The d-bdnf neurotrophic activity was reduced by zinc complexation, demonstrating the role of the latter in tuning the activity of the new peptido-mimetic. Taken together our data uncover the neurotrophic properties of a novel BDNF mimetic peptide and pave the way for future studies to understand the pharmacological basis of d-bdnf action and develop novel BDNF-based therapeutic strategies.
2022
Russo, Lara; Giacomelli, Chiara; Fortino, Mariagrazia; Marzo, Tiziano; Ferri, Gianmarco; Calvello, Mariantonietta; Viegi, Alessandro; Magrì, Antonio; Pratesi, Alessandro; Pietropaolo, Adriana; Cardarelli, Francesco; Martini, Claudia; Rizzarelli, Enrico; Marchetti, Laura; La Mendola, Diego; Trincavelli, Maria Letizia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1156443
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