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Biochimica et biophysica acta

Asteropsin A: an unusual cystine-crosslinked peptide from porifera enhances neuronal Ca2+ influx.


PMID 23201194

Abstract

Herein we report the discovery of a cystine-crosslinked peptide from Porifera along with high-quality spatial details accompanied by the description of its unique effect on neuronal calcium influx. Asteropsin A (ASPA) was isolated from the marine sponge Asteropus sp., and its structure was independently determined using X-ray crystallography (0.87 angstroms) and solution NMR spectroscopy. An N-terminal pyroglutamate modification, uncommon cis proline conformations, and absence of basic residues helped distinguish ASPA from other cystine-crosslinked knot peptides. ASPA enhanced Ca2+ influx in murine cerebrocortical neuron cells following the addition of the Na+ channel activator veratridine but did not modify the oscillation frequency or amplitude of neuronal Ca2+ currents alone. Allosterism at neurotoxin site 2 was not observed, suggesting an alternative to the known Na+ channel interaction. Together with a distinct biological activity, the origin of ASPA suggests a new subclass of cystine-rich knot peptides associated with Porifera. The discovery of ASPA represents a distinctive addition to an emerging subclass of cystine-crosslinked knot peptides from Porifera.