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

Journal Article (Journal Article)


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.

General significance

The discovery of ASPA represents a distinctive addition to an emerging subclass of cystine-crosslinked knot peptides from Porifera.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, H; Bowling, JJ; Fronczek, FR; Hong, J; Jabba, SV; Murray, TF; Ha, N-C; Hamann, MT; Jung, JH

Published Date

  • March 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1830 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 2591 - 2599

PubMed ID

  • 23201194

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4137556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-2434

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3002

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.11.015


  • eng