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Increasing attention is being focused on the use of polypeptide-based N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists for the treatment of nervous system disorders. In our study on Achyranthes bidentata Blume, we identified an NMDA receptor subtype 2B (NR2B) antagonist that exerts distinct neuroprotective actions. This antagonist is a 33 amino acid peptide, named bidentatide, which contains three disulfide bridges that form a cysteine knot motif. We determined the neuroactive potential of bidentatide by evaluating its in vitro effects against NMDA-mediated excitotoxicity. The results showed that pretreating primary cultured hippocampal neurons with bidentatide prevented NMDA-induced cell death and apoptosis via multiple mechanisms that involved intracellular Ca2+ inhibition, NMDA current inhibition, and apoptosis-related protein expression regulation. These mechanisms were all dependent on bidentatide-induced inhibitory regulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors; thus, bidentatide may contribute to the development of neuroprotective agents that would likely possess the high selectivity and safety profiles inherent in peptide drugs.


Fei Ding, Yunpeng Bai, Qiong Cheng, Shu Yu, Mengchun Cheng, Yulin Wu, Xiaozhe Zhang, Xinmiao Liang, Xiaosong Gu. Bidentatide, a Novel Plant Peptide Derived from Achyranthes bidentata Blume: Isolation, Characterization, and Neuroprotection through Inhibition of NR2B-Containing NMDA Receptors. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Jul 26;22(15)

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PMID: 34360755

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