- CX3CL1, also known as fractalkine, is best known for its signaling activity through interactions with its cognate receptor CX3CR1. However, its intrinsic function that is independent of interaction with CX3CR1 remains to be fully understood. We demonstrate that the intracellular domain of CX3CL1 (CX3CL1-ICD), generated upon sequential cleavages by α-/β-secretase and γ-secretase, initiates a back signaling activity, which mediates direct signal transmission to gene expression in the nucleus. To study this, we fused a synthetic peptide derived from CX3CL1-ICD, named Tet34, with a 13-amino acid tetanus sequence at the N terminus to facilitate translocation into neuronal cells.
- Among voltage-gated potassium channel (KV) isoforms, KV1.6 is one of the most widespread in the nervous system. However, there are little data concerning its physiological significance, in part due to the scarcity of specific ligands. The known high-affinity ligands of KV1.6 lack selectivity, and conversely, its selective ligands show low affinity. Here, we present a designer peptide with both high affinity and selectivity to KV1.6. Previously, we have demonstrated that KV isoform-selective peptides can be constructed based on the simplistic α-hairpinin scaffold, and we obtained a number of artificial Tk-hefu peptides showing selective blockage of KV1.3 in the submicromolar range.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) is the most severe result of spine injury, but no effective therapy exists to treat SCI. We have previously shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Two RING fingers and DRIL 1 (Triad1) promotes neurite outgrowth after SCI. However, the mechanism by which Triad1 affects neuron growth and the potential involvement of its ubiquitination activity is unclear. Neuroprotective cytokine pleiotrophin (PTN) can promote microglia proliferation and neurotrophic factor secretion to achieve neuroprotection.
- The protostome leucokinin (LK) signaling system, including LK peptides and their G protein-coupled receptors, has been characterized in several species. Despite the progress, molecular mechanisms governing LK peptide–receptor interactions remain to be elucidated. Previously, we identified a precursor protein for Aplysia leucokinin-like peptides (ALKs) that contains the greatest number of amidated peptides among LK precursors in all species identified so far. Here, we identified the first ALK receptor from Aplysia, ALKR.