Project I - Zhang &Chen Program Director/Principal Investigator (Last, First, Middle): Lipton, Stuart A. PROJECT SUMMARY (See instructions): The N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of gluatmate receptor (NMDAR) is essential for normal function of the central nervous system (CNS). However, excessive activation of NMDARs, particulariy of extrasynaptic as opposed to synaptic receptors, mediates, at least in part, neuronal or synaptic damage in many neurological disorders, such as hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and, as recently suggested, in Down syndrome. Blockade of excessive NMDAR activity must be achieved without interference with its normal brain function. We have taken two approaches for clinically-tolerated pharmacological and genetic intervention on NMDARs. One approach is to use Memantine but also NO species to further down regulate the NMDAR by S-nitrosylation. The structural determinants on NMDARs for the action of Memantine and NO-like species will be characterized further under the auspices of this grant. Another approach is to utilize the inhibitory effect of a novel family of NMDAR subunits, composed of NRSA and NRSB, to downregulate NMDARs by affecting channel permeability, in a sense mimicking the effect of the NMDAR antagonist drugs that are also being developed here. We will study the role of the MS domain of NRS subunits that downregulate activity of NMDARs and also design NRS ligand-binding domain (LBD)-based screening assays to discover new compounds that modulate NRS-containing receptors. These agents will be useful for characterizing NRS-containing receptors, and possibly for neuroprotection. Accordingly, the Specific Aims of this proposal are as follows: 1) To study the effect of S-nitrosylation/redox modulation of the loose linker region between the amino-terminal domain (ATD) and the LBD of NMDARs by electrophysiology;2) To develop LBD-derived screening assays to screen for ligands selective for the NRS subunit of the NMDAR. These ligands will be further characterized and refined by secondary assays, chemical modification, and co-crystallization;3) To study the inhibitory effect of peptides derived from the out vestibule (MS) region of NRS subunits on NMDAR permeability.

Public Health Relevance

This grant aims to develop novel, clinically-tolerated NMDA receptor antagonists, called NitroMemantines, in addition to other novel molecules based on the structure of the NRS subunit, which this Team of Investigators discovered, in order to prevent cognitive deficits seen in Down syndrome. We take two approaches, pharmacological and genetic, for safe inhibition of NMDARs to treat pathological conditions without interference with normal function.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-N)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sanz-Blasco, Sara; Dolatabadi, Nima et al. (2016) Elevated glucose and oligomeric β-amyloid disrupt synapses via a common pathway of aberrant protein S-nitrosylation. Nat Commun 7:10242
Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A (2016) Protein S-Nitrosylation as a Therapeutic Target for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Trends Pharmacol Sci 37:73-84
Nakanishi, Nobuki; Kang, Yeon-Joo; Tu, Shichun et al. (2016) Differential Effects of Pharmacologic and Genetic Modulation of NMDA Receptor Activity on HIV/gp120-Induced Neuronal Damage in an In Vivo Mouse Model. J Mol Neurosci 58:59-65
Sanz-Blasco, Sara; Piña-Crespo, Juan C; Zhang, Xiaofei et al. (2016) Levetiracetam inhibits oligomeric Aβ-induced glutamate release from human astrocytes. Neuroreport 27:705-9
Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A (2016) Nitrosative Stress in the Nervous System: Guidelines for Designing Experimental Strategies to Study Protein S-Nitrosylation. Neurochem Res 41:510-4
Sunico, Carmen R; Sultan, Abdullah; Nakamura, Tomohiro et al. (2016) Role of sulfiredoxin as a peroxiredoxin-2 denitrosylase in human iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:E7564-E7571
Nakamura, Tomohiro; Prikhodko, Olga A; Pirie, Elaine et al. (2015) Aberrant protein S-nitrosylation contributes to the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurobiol Dis 84:99-108
Satoh, Takumi; Stalder, Romain; McKercher, Scott R et al. (2015) Nrf2 and HSF-1 Pathway Activation via Hydroquinone-Based Proelectrophilic Small Molecules is Regulated by Electrochemical Oxidation Potential. ASN Neuro 7:
Galluzzi, L; Bravo-San Pedro, J M; Vitale, I et al. (2015) Essential versus accessory aspects of cell death: recommendations of the NCCD 2015. Cell Death Differ 22:58-73
Zhang, Dongxian; Lee, Brian; Nutter, Anthony et al. (2015) Protection from cyanide-induced brain injury by the Nrf2 transcriptional activator carnosic acid. J Neurochem 133:898-908

Showing the most recent 10 out of 162 publications