GHB confers neuroprotection by stabilizing the CaMKIIα hub domain [article]

Ulrike Leurs, Anders B. Klein, Ethan D. McSpadden, Nane Griem-Krey, Sara M. Solbak, Josh Houlton, Inge S. Villumsen, Stine B. Vogensen, Louise Hamborg, Stine J. Gauger, Line B. Palmelund, Anne Sofie G. Larsen (+17 others)
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα) is an abundant neuronal signaling protein involved in synaptic plasticity and memory formation1,2. The central hub domain regulates the activity of CaMKIIα by organizing the holoenzyme complex into functional oligomers3-6. Recent findings have suggested that the hub is also an allosteric determinant of kinase activity7, and is thus an emerging target for therapies to correct CaMKIIα dysregulation8,9. However, pharmacological modulation
more » ... of the hub domain has never been demonstrated. Here we show that stabilization of the CaMKIIα hub domain confers neuroprotection. By combining photoaffinity labeling and chemical proteomics using small molecule analogs of the natural metabolite γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)10, we reveal that CaMKIIα is the selective target for GHB. We further find that these GHB analogs bind to the hub interior by solving a 2.2 Å crystal structure of CaMKIIα with bound ligand. Using differential scanning fluorimetry, we show that binding of ligands to the hub interior increases the thermal stability of hub oligomers in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, we demonstrate the functional significance of this hub stabilization by showing substantial neuroprotective effects in cellular excitotoxicity assays and in a mouse model of cerebral ischemia. Together, our results reveal that CaMKIIα hub stabilization is the mechanism by which GHB provides endogenous neuroprotection and that small-molecule CaMKIIα-selective ligands have therapeutic potential.
doi:10.1101/2020.09.28.310474 fatcat:s4degvlzk5apjle57oueau2zge