CGX-1007 prevents excitotoxic cell death via actions at multiple types of NMDA receptors.

PMID 21396956


Glutamate induced excitotoxic injury through over-activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) plays a critical role in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the role of CGX-1007 (Conantokin G) as a neuroprotective agent against NMDA-induced excitotoxicity. Conantokin G, a cone snail peptide isolated from Conus geographus is reported to selectively inhibit NR2B containing NMDARs with high specificity and is shown to have potent anticonvulsant and antinociceptive effects. CGX-1007 significantly reduced the excitotoxic cell death induced by NMDA in organotypic hippocampal brain slice cultures in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, ifenprodil, another NR2B specific antagonist failed to offer neuroprotection against NMDA-induced excitotoxicity. We further determined that the neuroprotection observed is likely due to the action of CGX-1007 at multiple NMDA receptor subtypes. In a series of electrophysiology experiments, CGX-1007 inhibited NMDA-gated currents in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells expressing NMDA receptors containing either NR1a/NR2B or NR1a/NR2A subunit combinations. CGX-1007 produced a weak inhibition at NR1a/NR2C receptors, whereas it had no effect on NR1a/NR2D receptors. Further, the inhibition of NMDA receptors by CGX-1007 was voltage-dependent with greater inhibition seen at hyperpolarized membrane potentials. The voltage-dependence of CGX-1007 activity was also observed in recordings of NMDA-gated currents evoked in native receptors expressed in cortical neurons in culture. Based on our results, we conclude that CGX-1007 is a potent neuroprotective agent that acts as an antagonist at both NR2A and NR2B containing receptors.

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Conantokin G, ≥75% (HPLC)