AA sequence: Gly-Glu-Gla-Gla-Leu-Gln-Gla-Asn-Gln-Gla-Leu-Ile-Arg-Gla-Lys-Ser-Asn-NH2
Length (aa): 17
Molecular Weight: 2264.23 Da
Appearance: White lyophilized solid
Solubility: water and saline buffer
CAS number: [93438-65-4] Source: Synthetic
Purity rate: > 95 %
Selective inhibitor of NR2B-containing NMDAR
Conantokin-G is a conopeptide that has been isolated from the venom of the cone Conus geographus. Conantokin-G selectively inhibits NR2B containing N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) with a high specificity. Thus, Conantokin-G inhibits in a concentration-dependent manner the Ca2+ influx leading to a neuroprotective effect against NMDA-induced excitotoxicity. Conantokin-G was shown to block NMDA-evoked currents in murine cortical neurons with an IC50 value of around 480 nM.
AA sequence: Gly-Glu-Gla-Gla-Leu-Gln-Gla-Asn-Gln-Gla-Leu-Ile-Arg-Gla-Lys-Ser-Asn-NH2
Synaptic and extrasynaptic activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) has distinct consequences on cell signaling and neuronal survival. Since conantokin (con)-G antagonism is NR2B-selective, which is the key subunit involved in extrasynaptic activation of the receptor, its ability to specifically elicit distinct signaling outcomes in neurons with synaptically or extrasynaptically-activated NMDARs was evaluated. Inhibition of Ca(2+) influx through extrasynaptic NMDAR ion channels was neuroprotective, as it effectively enhanced levels of activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), activated cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), enhanced mitochondrial viability, and attenuated the actin disorganization observed by extrasynaptic activation of NMDARs. Conversely, the pro-signaling pathways stimulated by synaptically-induced Ca(2+) influx were abolished by con-G. Furthermore, subunit non-selective con-T was unable to successfully redress the impairments in neurons caused by extrasynaptically-activated NMDARs, thus indicating that NR2B-specific antagonists are beneficial for neuron survival. Neurons ablated for the NR2B subunit showed weak synaptic Ca(2+) influx, reduced sensitivity to MK-801 blockage, and diminished extrasynaptic current compared to WT and NR2A(-/-) neurons. This indicates that the NR2B subunit is an integral component of both synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDAR channels. Altogether, these data suggest that con-G specifically targets the NR2B subunit in the synaptic and extrasynaptic locations, resulting in the opposing action of con-G on differentially activated pools of NMDARs.
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.
Specific determinants of conantokins that dictate their selectivity for the NR2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.
Conantokins are naturally-occurring small peptide antagonists of ion flow through NMDA/glycine activated-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) ion channels. One member of the conantokin family, conantokin (con)-G, a 17-residue peptide, is selective for NMDARs containing the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit 2 B (NR2B), whereas the homologous peptides, con-T and con-R, show broader selectivity for NR2 subunits. In this study, con-G, con-R, and con-T variants were chemically synthesized and employed to investigate their subunit selectivities as inhibitors of agonist-evoked ion currents in human embryonic kidney-293 (HEK-293) cells expressing various combinations of NMDAR subunits that contain NR1a or NR1b combined with NR2A or NR2B. Using truncation and point mutants, as well as chimeric conantokins, we determined that the N-terminus of con-G contains all the determinants for NR2B selectivity. With this information, a large number of (con) variants were synthesized and used to establish minimal sequence determinants for selectivity. Tyr at position 5 broadens the NR2 selectivity, and recovery of NR2B selectivity in Tyr5 peptides was achieved by incorporating Ala or Gly at position 8. NR2B selectivity in con-R can be conferred through deletion of the Ala at position 10, thereby shifting the γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla) from position 11 to position 10, where a Gla naturally occurs in con-G and con-T. The nature of the amino acid at position 6 is also linked to subunit selectivity. Our studies suggest that the molecular determinants of conantokins that dictate NMDAR subunit selectivity are housed in specific residues of the N-termini of these peptides. Thus, it is possible to engineer desired NMDAR functional properties into conantokin-based peptides.
The selectivity of conantokin-G for ion channel inhibition of NR2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors is regulated by amino acid residues in the S2 region of NR2B
The conantokins are short, naturally occurring peptides that inhibit ion flow through N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) channels. One member of this peptide family, conantokin-G (con-G), shows high selectivity for antagonism of NR2B-containing NMDAR channels, whereas other known conantokins are less selective inhibitors with regard to the nature of the NR2 subunit of the NMDAR complex. In order to define the molecular determinants of NR2B that govern con-G selectivity, we evaluated the ability of con-G to inhibit NMDAR ion channels expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK)293 cells transfected with NR1, in combination with various NR2A/2B chimeras and point mutants, by electrophysiology using cells voltage-clamped in the whole-cell configuration. We found that a variant of the con-G-insensitive subunit, NR2A, in which the 158 residues comprising the S2 peptide segment (E(657)-I(814)) were replaced by the corresponding S2 region of NR2B (E(658)-I(815)), results in receptors that are highly sensitive to inhibition by con-G. Of the 22 amino acids that are different between the NR2A-S2 and the NR2B-S2 regions, exchange of one of these, M(739) of NR2B for the equivalent K(738) of NR2A, was sufficient to completely import the inhibitory activity of con-G into NR1b/NR2A-containing NMDARs. Some reinforcement of this effect was found by substitution of a second amino acid, K(755) of NR2B for Y(754) of NR2A. The discovery of the molecular determinants of NR2B selectivity with con-G has implications for the design of subunit-selective neurobiological probes and drug therapies, in addition to advancing our understanding of NR2B- versus NR2A-mediated neurological processes.
Sheng Z., et al. (2009) The selectivity of conantokin-G for ion channel inhibition of NR2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors is regulated by amino acid residues in the S2 region of NR2B. Neuropharmacology. PMID: 19427876
Powerful antinociceptive effects of the cone snail venom-derived subtype-selective NMDA receptor antagonists conantokins G and T
Subunit non-selective N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists reduce injury-induced pain behavior, but generally produce unacceptable side effects. In this study, we examined the antinociceptive and motor effects of cone snail venom-derived peptides, conantokins G and T (conG and conT), which are selective inhibitors of the NR2B or NR2A and NR2B subtypes of the NMDA receptor, respectively. We tested the effects of conG and conT in models of tissue (formalin test), nerve injury (partial sciatic nerve ligation) and inflammation-induced (intraplantar Complete Freund’s Adjuvant; CFA) pain in mice. In the formalin test, intrathecal (i.t.) conG or conT suppressed the ongoing pain behavior (ED(50) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), 11 (7-19) and 19 (11-33), respectively) at doses that were 17-27 times lower than those required to impair motor function (accelerating rotarod treadmill test: ED(50) and 95% CI, 300 (120-730) and 320 (190-540) pmol, respectively). By comparison, SNX-111, an N-type voltage-sensitive calcium channel antagonist that is also derived from cone snail venom, produced significant motor impairment at a dose (3.0 pmol, i.t.) that was only partially efficacious in the formalin test. Furthermore, conG reversed the allodynia produced by nerve injury, with greater potency on thermal (ED50 and 95% CI, 24 (10-55) pmol) than on mechanical allodynia (59 (33-105) pmol). Finally, a single dose of conG (100 pmol, i.t.) also reduced CFA-evoked thermal and mechanical allodynia. Taken together, these results demonstrate that conantokins exhibit potent antinociceptive effects in several models of injury-induced pain. The study supports the notion that drugs directed against subtypes of the NMDA receptor, by virtue of their reduced side-effect profile, hold promise as novel therapeutic agents for the control of pain.
The amino acid residue at sequence position 5 in the conantokin peptides partially governs subunit-selective antagonism of recombinant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors
Whole cell voltage clamp recordings were performed to assess the ability of conantokin-G (con-G), conantokin-T (con-T), and a 17-residue truncated form of conantokin-R (con-R[1-17]) to inhibit N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-evoked currents in human embryonic kidney 293 cells transiently expressing various combinations of NR1a, NR1b, NR2A, and NR2B receptor subunits. Con-T and con-R[1-17] attenuated ion currents in cells expressing NR1a/NR2A or NR1a/NR2B. Con-G did not affect NMDA-evoked ionic currents in cells expressing NR1a/NR2A, but it showed inhibitory activity in cells expressing NR1a/NR2B receptors and the triheteromeric combination of NR1a/NR2A/NR2B. An Ala-rich con-G analog, con-G[Q6G/gamma7K/N8A/gamma10A/gamma14A/K15A/S16A/N17A] (Ala/con-G, where gamma is Gla), in which all nonessential amino acids were altered to Ala residues, manifested subunit specificity similar to that of con-G, suggesting that the replaced residues are not responsible for selectivity in the con-G framework. A sarcosine-containing con-T truncation analog, con-T[1-9/G1Src/Q6G], inhibited currents in NR1a/NR2A and NR1a/NR2Breceptors, eliminating residues 10-21 as mediators of the broad subunit selectivity of con-T. In contrast to the null effects of con-G and Ala/con-G at a NR1a/NR2A-containing receptor, some inhibition ( approximately 40%) of NMDA-evoked currents was effected by these peptides in cells expressing NR1b/NR2A. This finding suggests that the presence of exon 5 in NR1b plays a role in the activity of the conantokins. Analysis of various conantokinanalogs demonstrated that Leu(5) of con-G is an important determinant of conantokin selectivity. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that the important molecular determinants on conantokins responsible for NMDA receptor activity and specificity are discretely housed in specific residues of these peptides, thus allowing molecular manipulation of the NMDA receptor inhibitory properties of the conantokins.
Klein, R. C.,et al. (2001) The amino acid residue at sequence position 5 in the conantokin peptides partially governs subunit-selective antagonism of recombinant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, J Biol Chem. PMID: 11335724
Conantokin G (Con G) is a 17-amino-acid peptide antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors isolated from the venom of the marine cone snail, Conus geographus. The mechanism of action of Con G has not been well defined; both competitive and noncompetitive interactions with the NMDA-binding site have been proposed. In this study the mechanism of action and subunit selectivity of Con G was examined in whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from cultured neurons and in two electrode voltage-clamp recordings from Xenopus oocytes expressing recombinant NMDA receptors. Con G was a potent and selective antagonist of NMDA-evoked currents in murine cortical neurons (IC(50) = 480 nM). The slow onset of Con G block could be prevented by coapplication with high concentrations of NMDA or of the competitive antagonist (RS)-3-(2-carboxypiperazine-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid. Furthermore, in oocytes expressing NR1a/NR2B receptors, Con G produced a rightward shift in the concentration-response curve for NMDA, providing support for a competitive interaction with the NMDA-binding site. Con G produced an apparent noncompetitive shift in the concentration-response curve for spermine potentiation of NMDA responses, but this was due to spermine-induced enhancement of Con G block. Spermine produced a similar enhancement of DL-2-amino-S-phosphopentanoic acid block. Finally, Con G selectively blocked NMDA receptors containing the NR2B subunit. These results demonstrate that Con G is a subunit-specific competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. The unique subunit selectivity profile of Con G may explain its favorable in vivo profile compared with nonselective NMDA antagonists.
Conantokin-G (con-G) and conantokin-T (con-T) are naturally occurring gamma-carboxyglutamate (Gla)-containing peptides that interact with multivalent cations in functionally relevant manners. Selective 13C-enrichment of Cgamma and Cdelta in each of the Gla residues has allowed metal binding affinities to be measured at individual side chains. Con-T possesses two metal binding sites, one with high affinity at Gla10/Gla14 and another with weak binding at Gla3/Gla4. Con-G contains two sites of comparable low affinity for Ca2+. Analysis of the 13C line-widths of con-G in the presence of Mg2+ allowed the order of metal binding to be determined, with Gla10/Gla14 loading before the Gla3/Gla4/Gla7 cluster. While the variant peptide, apo-con-T[Lys7Gla], was shown to have a very low alpha-helical content, this peptide binds a second metal with much greater affinity than wild-type con-T. This provides additional evidence that Gla7 in con-G is primarily responsible for destabilizing the apo-form, but is an important ligand for metal chelation. The residue-specific alpha-helical stabilities of con-G and con-T in their metal-free and metal-loaded states were estimated by determining rates of proton exchange from backbone peptide bond amides with deuterium atoms from 2H20-containing solvents. For both peptides, the lifetimes of protons on several peptide bond amides increased as metals of higher affinity were bound to the peptides, with the longest half-lives found in the region of the alpha-helical turn stabilized by the Gla10/Gla14 metal coordination site. We propose that Gla10 and Gla14 constitute the primary tight metal ion binding site in both peptides. This detailed analysis with physiologically relevant metal cations is crucial for deciphering the roles of critical amino acids in the bioactivity of the conantokin peptides.
A series of variants of the neuroactive 17-residue gamma-carboxyglutamate-(Gla)-containing polypeptide, conantokin-G (con-G), were synthesized with the intention of determining those features that were important for its N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-targeted antagonist activity and for adoption of its divalent cation-dependent alpha-helical conformation. Employing the binding of [3H]dizolcipine (MK-801) as an assay for open receptor ion channels in rat brain membranes, which displays inhibition by con-G (IC50 = 0.48 microM), it was found that replacement by an Ala residue of Gla4 led to complete inactivation of the peptide, whereas a similar replacement of Gla3 resulted in a 20-fold decreased potency. Ala substitutions for Gla10 and Gla14 did not substantially affect [3H]MK-801 binding. This same substitution at Gla7 appeared to slightly enhance binding. Ala replacements of non-Gla residues demonstrated that four of them, viz. Glu2, Leu5, Gln9, and Ile12, possessed at least 200-fold decreases in inhibitory potency, whereas similar replacements at Gly1, Leu11, and Arg13 resulted in peptides with 8- to 12-fold increases in the IC50 values. The remaining amino acid residues tested in the single Ala replacement series showed no significant changes in the inhibitory characteristics of wild-type con-G. Additional studies with carboxyl-terminal truncated peptides revealed that the carboxyl-terminal 4 amino acids were unimportant for this activity. There was no strict correlation of inhibition of [3H]MK-801 binding with the ability of these peptides to form cation-dependent alpha-helices. Peptides with notably low alpha-helical content in the presence of these cations were lacking at least one, or both, of Gla10 and Gla14. Con-G[Gla3,4,7,10,14E] and con-G[Gla7,10,14E] were the only peptides that remained in a completely random conformation upon metal ion addition.
Blandl T., et al. (1998) NMDA-receptor antagonist requirements in conantokin-G. FEBS Lett. PMID: 9762921
Conantokin-G is a 17 amino acid peptide isolated from the venom of the fish-eating snail Conus geographus which produces hyperactivity when injected into the brains of adult mice. We show that this peptide is a selective N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist based on its ability to block NMDA-induced elevation of cGMP in rat cerebellar slices in vitro (IC50 = 171 nM), but not kainic acid-induced elevations. This inhibition could not be overcome by increasing the NMDA concentration, indicating non-competitive inhibition. Conantokin-G displayed no affinity for binding sites for thienylcyclohexylpiperidine, various glutamate subclasses or those for several other neurotransmitters/neuromodulators. This peptide, however, enhanced [3H]glycine binding to rat forebrain membranes but not to spinal cord membranes. The activity profile of the peptide in various assays indicates that it is a novel type of non-competitive NMDA antagonist.