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1.  Fyn Promotes Phosphorylation of Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 1 at Tyrosine 504, a Novel, Isoform-Specific Regulatory Site 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2010;111(1):20-28.
In vertebrates the Collapsin Response Mediator Proteins (CRMPs) are encoded by five highly-related genes. CRMPs are cytosolic phosphoproteins abundantly expressed in developing and mature mammalian brains. CRMPs are best understood as effectors of Semaphorin 3A signaling regulating growth cone collapse in migratory neurons. Phosphorylation in the carboxyl-terminal regulatory domain of CRMPs by several serine/threonine kinases has been described. These phoshorylation events appear to function, at least in part, to disrupt the interaction of CRMPs with tubulin heterodimers. In a large-scale phosphoproteomic analysis of murine brain, we recently identified a number of in vivo tyrosine phosphorylation sites on CRMP isoforms. Using biochemical approaches and quantitative mass spectrometry we demonstrate that one of these sites, CRMP1 tyrosine 504 (Y504), is a primary target of the Src family of tyrosine kinases (SFKs), specifically Fyn. Y504 is adjacent to CDK5 and GSK-3β sites that regulate the interaction of CRMPs with tubulin. Although Y504 is highly conserved among vertebrate CRMP1 orthologs, a residue corresponding to Y504 is absent in CRMP isoforms 2-5. This suggests an isoform-specific regulatory role for CRMP1 Y504 phosphorylation and may help explain the observation that CRMP1-deficient mice exhibit neuronal migration defects not compensated for by CRMPs 2-5.
PMCID: PMC4198339  PMID: 20506281
Collapsin Response Mediator Protein, CRMP; Fyn; Phosphorylation; Tyrosine Kinase; Quantitative mass spectrometry, quantitative proteomics; Neuronal positioning; Growth Cone; Absolute Quantification, AQUA; Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino Acids in Cell Culture, SILAC
2.  CRMP4 and CRMP2 Interact to Coordinate Cytoskeleton Dynamics, Regulating Growth Cone Development and Axon Elongation 
Neural Plasticity  2015;2015:947423.
Cytoskeleton dynamics are critical phenomena that underpin many fundamental cellular processes. Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are highly expressed in the developing nervous system, mediating growth cone guidance, neuronal polarity, and axonal elongation. However, whether and how CRMPs associate with microtubules and actin coordinated cytoskeletal dynamics remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that CRMP2 and CRMP4 interacted with tubulin and actin in vitro and colocalized with the cytoskeleton in the transition-zone in developing growth cones. CRMP2 and CRMP4 also interacted with one another coordinately to promote growth cone development and axonal elongation. Genetic silencing of CRMP2 enhanced, whereas overexpression of CRMP2 suppressed, the inhibitory effects of CRMP4 knockdown on axonal development. In addition, knockdown of CRMP2 or overexpression of truncated CRMP2 reversed the promoting effect of CRMP4. With the overexpression of truncated CRMP2 or CRMP4 lacking the cytoskeleton interaction domain, the promoting effect of CRMP was suppressed. These data suggest a model in which CRMP2 and CRMP4 form complexes to bridge microtubules and actin and thus work cooperatively to regulate growth cone development and axonal elongation.
PMCID: PMC4442009  PMID: 26064693
3.  CRMP1 Inhibits Proliferation of Medulloblastoma and Is Regulated by HMGA1 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0127910.
Many facets of the tumor biology of medulloblastoma (MB) have not been fully elucidated. Collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) is a member of cytoplasmic family of proteins that regulate the development of central nervous system. Recent studies demonstrated that CRMP1 could function as an invasion suppressor. We reported previously that high mobility group AT-hook 1 (HMGA1) contributed to development of MB and regulated its growth and migration/invasion. Transcriptional profiling and quantitative RT-PCR revealed increased expression of CRMP1 in HMGA1-depleted cells, suggesting that CRMP1 may be a downstream target of HMGA1 in MB. In this study, we showed HMGA1 can bind CRMP1 promoter by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. Luciferase assay demonstrated a marked enhancement of CRMP1 transcription activity in HMGA1-depleted cells. Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR revealed a negative correlation between HMGA1 and CRMP1 in 32 MB samples. To investigate the biological roles of CRMP1 in MB pathogenesis, we established MB clones stably expressing CRMP1. Functional analysis revealed that expression of CRMP1 significantly inhibited proliferation, migration, invasion and formation of filopodia and intense stress fiber of MB cells. Our data suggest that HMGA1 regulates CRMP1 expression and CRMP1 is implicated in MB pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4444180  PMID: 26009886
4.  Crmp4 deletion promotes recovery from spinal cord injury by neuroprotection and limited scar formation 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8269.
Axonal outgrowth inhibitors and scar formation are two major obstacles to central nervous system (CNS) repair. No target molecule that regulates both axonal growth and scarring has been identified. Here we identified collapsin response mediator protein 4 (CRMP4), a common mediator of inhibitory signals after neural injury, as a crucial factor that contributes to both axonal growth inhibition and scarring after spinal cord injury (SCI). We found increases in the inhibitory and toxic forms of CRMP4 in injured spinal cord. Notably, CRMP4 expression was evident in inflammatory cells as well as in neurons after spinal cord transection. Crmp4−/− mice displayed neuroprotection against SCI and reductions in inflammatory response and scar formation. This permissive environment for axonal growth due to CRMP4 deletion restored locomotor activity at an unusually early phase of healing. These results suggest that deletion of CRMP4 is a unique therapeutic strategy that overcomes two obstacles to CNS repair after SCI.
PMCID: PMC4317684  PMID: 25652774
5.  The functionalized amino acid (S)-Lacosamide subverts CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization to prevent constitutive and activity-dependent increase in neurite outgrowth 
Activity-dependent neurite outgrowth is a highly complex, regulated process with important implications for neuronal circuit remodeling in development as well as in seizure-induced sprouting in epilepsy. Recent work has linked outgrowth to collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), an intracellular phosphoprotein originally identified as axon guidance and growth cone collapse protein. The neurite outgrowth promoting function of CRMP2 is regulated by its phosphorylation state. In this study, depolarization (potassium chloride)-driven activity increased the level of active CRMP2 by decreasing its phosphorylation by GSK3β via a reduction in priming by Cdk5. To determine the contribution of CRMP2 in activity-driven neurite outgrowth, we screened a limited set of compounds for their ability to reduce neurite outgrowth but not modify voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) biophysical properties. This led to the identification of (S)-lacosamide ((S)-LCM), a stereoisomer of the clinically used antiepileptic drug (R)-LCM (Vimpat®), as a novel tool for preferentially targeting CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth. Whereas (S)-LCM was ineffective in targeting VGSCs, the presumptive pharmacological targets of (R)-LCM, (S)-LCM was more efficient than (R)-LCM in subverting neurite outgrowth. Biomolecular interaction analyses revealed that (S)-LCM bound to wildtype CRMP2 with low micromolar affinity, similar to (R)-LCM. Through the use of this novel tool, the activity-dependent increase in neurite outgrowth observed following depolarization was characterized to be reliant on CRMP2 function. Knockdown of CRMP2 by siRNA in cortical neurons resulted in reduced CRMP2-dependent neurite outgrowth; incubation with (S)-LCM phenocopied this effect. Other CRMP2-mediated processes were unaffected. (S)-LCM subverted neurite outgrowth not by affecting the canonical CRMP2-tubulin association but rather by impairing the ability of CRMP2 to promote tubulin polymerization, events that are perfunctory for neurite outgrowth. Taken together, these results suggest that changes in the phosphorylation state of CRMP2 are a major contributing factor in activity-dependent regulation of neurite outgrowth.
PMCID: PMC4109617  PMID: 25104922
CRMP2; activity-dependent; neurite outgrowth; (S)-Lacosamide; GSK3β; Cdk5
6.  Identification and structural analysis of C-terminally truncated collapsin response mediator protein-2 in a murine model of prion diseases 
Proteome Science  2010;8:53.
Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that accompany an accumulation of the disease-associated form(s) of prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system. The neuropathological changes in the brain begin with focal deposits of PrPSc, followed by pathomorphological abnormalities of axon terminal degeneration, synaptic loss, atrophy of dendritic trees, and eventual neuronal cell death in the lesions. However, the underlying molecular basis for these neuropathogenic abnormalities is not fully understood.
In a proteomic analysis of soluble proteins in the brains of mice challenged intracerebrally with scrapie prion (Obihiro I strain), we found that the amount of the full-length form of collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2; 61 kDa) decreased in the late stages of the disease, while the amount of its truncated form (56 kDa) increased to comparable levels observed for the full-length form. Detailed analysis by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry showed that the 56-kDa form (named CRMP-2-ΔC) lacked the sequence from serine518 to the C-terminus, including the C-terminal phosphorylation sites important for the regulation of axonal growth and axon-dendrite specification in developing neurons. The invariable size of the mRNA transcript in Northern blot analysis suggested that the truncation was due to post-translational proteolysis. By overexpression of CRMP-2-ΔC in primary cultured neurons, we observed the augmentation of the development of neurite branch tips to the same levels as for CRMP-2T514A/T555A, a non-phosphorylated mimic of the full-length protein. This suggests that the increased level of CRMP-2-ΔC in the brain modulates the integrity of neurons, and may be involved in the pathogenesis of the neuronal abnormalities observed in the late stages of the disease.
We identified the presence of CRMP-2-ΔC in the brain of a murine model of prion disease. Of note, C-terminal truncations of CRMP-2 have been recently observed in models for neurodegenerative disorders such as ischemia, traumatic brain injury, and Wallerian degeneration. While the structural identity of CRMP-2-ΔC in those models remains unknown, the present study should provide clues to the molecular pathology of degenerating neurons in prion diseases in connection with other neurodegenerative disorders.
PMCID: PMC2978134  PMID: 20961402
7.  CRMP5 Regulates Generation and Survival of Newborn Neurons in Olfactory and Hippocampal Neurogenic Areas of the Adult Mouse Brain 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e23721.
The Collapsin Response Mediator Proteins (CRMPs) are highly expressed in the developing brain, and in adult brain areas that retain neurogenesis, ie: the olfactory bulb (OB) and the dentate gyrus (DG). During brain development, CRMPs are essentially involved in signaling of axon guidance and neurite outgrowth, but their functions in the adult brain remain largely unknown. CRMP5 has been initially identified as the target of auto-antibodies involved in paraneoplasic neurological diseases and further implicated in a neurite outgrowth inhibition mediated by tubulin binding. Interestingly, CRMP5 is also highly expressed in adult brain neurogenic areas where its functions have not yet been elucidated. Here we observed in both neurogenic areas of the adult mouse brain that CRMP5 was present in proliferating and post-mitotic neuroblasts, while they migrate and differentiate into mature neurons. In CRMP5−/− mice, the lack of CRMP5 resulted in a significant increase of proliferation and neurogenesis, but also in an excess of apoptotic death of granule cells in the OB and DG. These findings provide the first evidence that CRMP5 is involved in the generation and survival of newly generated neurons in areas of the adult brain with a high level of activity-dependent neuronal plasticity.
PMCID: PMC3186791  PMID: 21991301
8.  Limiting multiple sclerosis related axonopathy by blocking Nogo receptor and CRMP-2 phosphorylation 
Brain  2012;135(6):1794-1818.
Multiple sclerosis involves demyelination and axonal degeneration of the central nervous system. The molecular mechanisms of axonal degeneration are relatively unexplored in both multiple sclerosis and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. We previously reported that targeting the axonal growth inhibitor, Nogo-A, may protect against neurodegeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; however, the mechanism by which this occurs is unclear. We now show that the collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2), an important tubulin-associated protein that regulates axonal growth, is phosphorylated and hence inhibited during the progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in degenerating axons. The phosphorylated form of CRMP-2 (pThr555CRMP-2) is localized to spinal cord neurons and axons in chronic-active multiple sclerosis lesions. Specifically, pThr555CRMP-2 is implicated to be Nogo-66 receptor 1 (NgR1)-dependent, since myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35–55-induced NgR1 knock-out (ngr1−/−) mice display a reduced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis disease progression, without a deregulation of ngr1−/− MOG35–55-reactive lymphocytes and monocytes. The limitation of axonal degeneration/loss in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis-induced ngr1−/− mice is associated with lower levels of pThr555CRMP-2 in the spinal cord and optic nerve during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Furthermore, transduction of retinal ganglion cells with an adeno-associated viral vector encoding a site-specific mutant T555ACRMP-2 construct, limits optic nerve axonal degeneration occurring at peak stage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Therapeutic administration of the anti-Nogo(623–640) antibody during the course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, associated with an improved clinical outcome, is demonstrated to abrogate the protein levels of pThr555CRMP-2 in the spinal cord and improve pathological outcome. We conclude that phosphorylation of CRMP-2 may be downstream of NgR1 activation and play a role in axonal degeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Blockade of Nogo-A/NgR1 interaction may serve as a viable therapeutic target in multiple sclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3589918  PMID: 22544872
Nogo receptor; Nogo-A; collapsin response mediator protein 2; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; axonal degeneration
9.  Effects of Hypothyroidism on Expression of CRMP2B and ARPC5 during Development of the Rat Frontal Cortex 
Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) can lead to irreversible central nervous system (CNS) damage. However, the pathogenesis of the developmental brain disorders caused by CH has not been completely elucidated. ARPC5 and CRMP2 are closely associated with neurite outgrowth in brain development. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine whether CRMP2B and ARPC5 expression is altered in the developing cerebral cortex of rats with CH. Control rats and rats with hypothyroidism were sacrificed at birth and at 15 days postpartum. We performed qRT-PCR to detect differences in the crmp2B and arpc5 mRNA expression in the right half of the frontal cortex of these rats. Western blotting was then used to detect differences in CRMP2B and ARPC5 protein expression. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis was performed on the left half of the frontal cortex to detect abnormal localization of CRMP2B and ARPC5. Results showed increased expression of the nuclear short isoform of CRMP2B and decreased expression of full-length CRMP2B and ARPC5 in cortical neurons of rats with hypothyroidism. These findings demonstrate that reduced levels of thyroid hormones can inhibit the expression of full-length CRMP2B and ARPC5 and promote nuclear transformation of the short isoform of CRMP2B. CRMP2B and ARPC5 may participate in CNS injury mediated by hypothyroidism by inducing neurite outgrowth inhibition and cytoskeletal protein disorganization.
PMCID: PMC3584917  PMID: 23459330
CRMP2B; ARPC5; congenital hypothyroidism; frontal cortex; rat.
10.  Collapsin response mediator protein-2 is a calmodulin-binding protein 
Collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2) plays a crucial role in axonal guidance and neurite outgrowth during neural development and regeneration. We have studied the interaction between calmodulin (CaM) and CRMP-2 and how Ca2+/CaM binding modulates the biological functions of CRMP-2. We have shown that CRMP-2 binds to CaM directly in a Ca2+-dependent manner. The CaM-binding site of CRMP-2 is proposed to reside in the last helix of the folded domain, and in line with this, a synthesized peptide representing this helix bound to CaM. In addition, CaM binding inhibits a homotetrameric assembly of CRMP-2 and attenuates calpain-mediated CRMP-2 proteolysis. Furthermore, a CaM antagonist reduces the number and length of process induced by CRMP-2 overexpression in HEK293 cells. Take together, our data suggest that CRMP-2 is a novel CaM-binding protein and that CaM binding may play an important role in regulating CRMP-2 functions.
PMCID: PMC4428678  PMID: 19151921
CRMP-2; proteolysis; calmodulin; calmodulin-binding protein; oligomerization
11.  Proteomic, genomic and translational approaches identify CRMP1 for a role in schizophrenia and its underlying traits 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(20):4406-4418.
Schizophrenia is a chronic illness of heterogenous biological origin. We hypothesized that, similar to chronic progressive brain conditions, persistent functional disturbances of neurons would result in disturbed proteostasis in the brains of schizophrenia patients, leading to increased abundance of specific misfolded, insoluble proteins. Identification of such proteins would facilitate the elucidation of molecular processes underlying these devastating conditions. We therefore generated antibodies against pooled insoluble proteome of post-mortem brains from schizophrenia patients in order to identify unique, disease-specific epitopes. We successfully identified such an epitope to be present on collapsin-response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) in biochemically purified, insoluble brain fractions. A genetic association analysis for the CRMP1 gene in a large Finnish population cohort (n = 4651) corroborated the association of physical and social anhedonia with the CRMP1 locus in a DISC1 (Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1)-dependent manner. Physical and social anhedonia are heritable traits, present as chronic, negative symptoms of schizophrenia and severe major depression, thus constituting serious vulnerability factors for mental disease. Strikingly, lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from schizophrenia patients mirrored aberrant CRMP1 immunoreactivity by showing an increase of CRMP1 expression, suggesting its potential role as a blood-based diagnostic marker. CRMP1 is a novel candidate protein for schizophrenia traits at the intersection of the reelin and DISC1 pathways that directly and functionally interacts with DISC1. We demonstrate the impact of an interdisciplinary approach where the identification of a disease-associated epitope in post-mortem brains, powered by a genetic association study, is rapidly translated into a potential blood-based diagnostic marker.
PMCID: PMC3529585  PMID: 22798627
12.  CRMP3 is required for hippocampal CA1 dendritic organization and plasticity 
In vitro studies have pointed to the collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) as key regulators of neurite outgrowth and axonal differentiation. CRMP3 is expressed mostly in the nervous system during development but remains at high levels in the hippocampus of adults. To explore CRMP3 function in vivo, we generated mice with targeted disruption of the CRMP3 gene. Immunohistochemistry and Golgi staining of CA1 showed abnormal dendrite and spine morphogenesis in the hippocampus of CRMP3-deficient mice. Apical dendrites displayed an increase in undulation and a reduction in length and branching points. Basal dendrites also exhibited a reduction in length with an alteration in soma stem distribution and an increased number of thick dendrites localized in stratum oriens (SO). Long-term potentiation (LTP) was impaired in this area. These data indicate an important role for CRMP3 in dendrite arborization, guide-posts navigation, and neuronal plasticity.
PMCID: PMC2268618  PMID: 17785607
Golgi analysis; gene targeting; neurite outgrowth; LTP
13.  Phosphorylation of collapsin response mediator protein-2 disrupts neuronal maturation in a model of adult neurogenesis: Implications for neurodegenerative disorders 
Recent studies suggest that the pathogenic process in neurodegenerative disorders may disrupt mature neuronal circuitries and neurogenesis in the adult brain. Abnormal activation of CDK5 is associated with neurodegenerative disorders, and recently a critical role for CDK5 in adult neurogenesis has been identified. We have developed an in vitro model of abnormal CDK5 activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and here we used this model to investigate aberrantly phosphorylated downstream targets of CDK5.
Abnormal CDK5 activation in an in vitro model of adult neurogenesis results in hyperphosphorylation of collapsin-response mediator protein-2 (CRMP2) and impaired neurite outgrowth. Inhibition of CDK5, or expression of a non-phosphorylatable (S522A) CRMP2 construct reduced CRMP2 hyperphosphorylation, and reversed neurite outgrowth deficits. CRMP2 plays a role in microtubule dynamics; therefore we examined the integrity of microtubules in this model using biochemical and electron microscopy techniques. We found that microtubule organization was disrupted under conditions of CDK5 activation. Finally, to study the relevance of these findings to neurogenesis in neurodegenerative conditions associated with HIV infection, we performed immunochemical analyses of the brains of patients with HIV and transgenic mice expressing HIV-gp120 protein. CDK5-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation was significantly increased in the hippocampus of patients with HIV encephalitis and in gp120 transgenic mice, and this effect was rescued by genetic down-modulation of CDK5 in the mouse model.
These results reveal a functional mechanism involving microtubule destabilization through which abnormal CDK5 activation and CRMP2 hyperphosphorylation might contribute to defective neurogenesis in neurodegenerative disorders such as HIV encephalitis.
PMCID: PMC3204248  PMID: 21943307
neurogenesis; HIV; encephalitis; CRMP2; dpysl2; CDK5; microtubules; neurite outgrowth
14.  Reduced expression of plasma membrane calcium ATPase 2 and collapsin response mediator protein 1 promotes death of spinal cord neurons 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2010;17(9):1501-1510.
The mechanisms underlying neuronal pathology and death in the spinal cord (SC) during inflammation remain elusive. We previously showed the important role of plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) in the survival of SC neurons, in vitro. We also postulated that a decrease in PMCA2 expression could cause neuronal death during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis. The current studies were undertaken to define the specific contribution of PMCA2 to degeneration of SC neurons, the effectors downstream to PMCA2 mediating neuronal death and the triggers that reduce PMCA2 expression. We report that knockdown of PMCA2 in SC neurons decreases collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) levels. This is followed by cell death. Silencing of CRMP1 expression also leads to neuronal loss. Kainic acid reduces both PMCA2 and CRMP1 levels and induces neuronal death. Administration of an α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA)/kainate receptor antagonist, at onset or peak of EAE, restores the decreased PMCA2 and CRMP1 levels to control values and ameliorates clinical deficits. Thus, our data link the reduction in PMCA2 expression with perturbations in the expression of CRMP1 and the ensuing death of SC neurons. This represents an additional mechanism underlying AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated excitotoxicity with relevance to neurodegeneration in EAE.
PMCID: PMC3266660  PMID: 20489728
multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury; ATP2B2; neuroprotection; excitotoxicity
15.  Crystal structure of human CRMP-4: correction of intensities for lattice-translocation disorder 
Crystals of human CRMP-4 showed severe lattice-translocation disorder. Intensities were demodulated using the so-called lattice-alignment method and a new more general method with simplified parameterization, and the structure is presented.
Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are cytosolic phosphoproteins that are mainly involved in neuronal cell development. In humans, the CRMP family comprises five members. Here, crystal structures of human CRMP-4 in a truncated and a full-length version are presented. The latter was determined from two types of crystals, which were either twinned or partially disordered. The crystal disorder was coupled with translational NCS in ordered domains and manifested itself with a rather sophisticated modulation of intensities. The data were demodulated using either the two-lattice treatment of lattice-translocation effects or a novel method in which demodulation was achieved by independent scaling of several groups of intensities. This iterative protocol does not rely on any particular parameterization of the modulation coefficients, but uses the current refined structure as a reference. The best results in terms of R factors and map correlation coefficients were obtained using this new method. The determined structures of CRMP-4 are similar to those of other CRMPs. Structural comparison allowed the confirmation of known residues, as well as the identification of new residues, that are important for the homo- and hetero-oligomerization of these proteins, which are critical to nerve-cell development. The structures provide further insight into the effects of medically relevant mutations of the DPYSL-3 gene encoding CRMP-4 and the putative enzymatic activities of CRMPs.
PMCID: PMC4051505  PMID: 24914979
CRMP-4; lattice-translocation disorder
16.  The ability of LCRMP-1 to promote cancer invasion by enhancing filopodia formation is antagonized by CRMP-1 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2011;121(8):3189-3205.
Metastasis is a predominant cause of death in patients with cancer. It is a complex multistep process that needs to be better understood if we are to develop new approaches to managing tumor metastasis. Tumor cell invasion of the local stroma is suppressed by collapsin response mediator protein-1 (CRMP-1). Recently, we identified a long isoform of CRMP-1 (LCRMP-1), expression of which correlates with cancer cell invasiveness and poor clinical outcome in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we report that LCRMP-1 overexpression in noninvasive human cell lines enhanced filopodia formation, cancer cell migration, and invasion via stabilization of actin. This effect required a highly conserved N-terminal region of LCRMP-1 as well as the WASP family verprolin-homologous protein-1/actin nucleation pathway (WAVE-1/actin nucleation pathway). Furthermore, LCRMP-1 appeared to act downstream of Cdc42, a Rho family protein known to be involved in actin rearrangement. In addition, LCRMP-1 associated with CRMP-1, which downregulated cancer cell metastasis by interrupting the association of LCRMP-1 and WAVE-1. Finally, we found that high-level expression of LCRMP-1 and low-level expression of CRMP-1 were associated with lymph node metastasis and poor survival in patients with NSCLC. In sum, we show that LCRMP-1 and CRMP-1 have opposing functions in regulating cancer cell invasion and metastasis and propose that this pathway may serve as a potential anticancer target.
PMCID: PMC3148721  PMID: 21747164
17.  Insight into the role of CRMP2 (collapsin response mediator protein 2) in T lymphocyte migration 
Cell Adhesion & Migration  2013;7(1):38-43.
Lymphocyte migration into the central nervous system is a critical step in the physiopathology of a variety of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis and virus-induced neuroinflammation. To better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in cells migration, we focused our studies on collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs), a group of phosphoproteins that mediate neural cell motility. There is now evidence that collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) plays critical roles in the polarization (uropod formation) of T lymphocytes and their subsequent migration. CRMP2 was known to respond to semaphorin, ephrin and neurotrophin signaling in neurons. The link between the chemokine CXCL12, CRMP2 activity and cell migration has been demonstrated in T lymphocytes. These observations and comparisons of the activity of CRMPs in immune and non-immmune cells are summarized here. The ability of a human retrovirus to enhance lymphocyte migration through the modulation of CRMP2 activity is also discussed. In conclusion, viruses have the ability to manipulate the lymphocyte motility machinery, intensifying neural tissue invasion in infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3544784  PMID: 23076208
retrovirus; chemokine; chronic viral infection; neuroimmune response; neuroinflammatory disease
18.  Neuronal deletion of GSK3β increases microtubule speed in the growth cone and enhances axon regeneration via CRMP-2 and independently of MAP1B and CLASP2 
BMC Biology  2014;12:47.
In the adult central nervous system, axonal regeneration is abortive. Regulators of microtubule dynamics have emerged as attractive targets to promote axonal growth following injury as microtubule organization is pivotal for growth cone formation. In this study, we used conditioned neurons with high regenerative capacity to further dissect cytoskeletal mechanisms that might be involved in the gain of intrinsic axon growth capacity.
Following a phospho-site broad signaling pathway screen, we found that in conditioned neurons with high regenerative capacity, decreased glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity and increased microtubule growth speed in the growth cone were present. To investigate the importance of GSK3β regulation during axonal regeneration in vivo, we used three genetic mouse models with high, intermediate or no GSK3β activity in neurons. Following spinal cord injury, reduced GSK3β levels or complete neuronal deletion of GSK3β led to increased growth cone microtubule growth speed and promoted axon regeneration. While several microtubule-interacting proteins are GSK3β substrates, phospho-mimetic collapsin response mediator protein 2 (T/D-CRMP-2) was sufficient to decrease microtubule growth speed and neurite outgrowth of conditioned neurons and of GSK3β-depleted neurons, prevailing over the effect of decreased levels of phosphorylated microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B) and through a mechanism unrelated to decreased levels of phosphorylated cytoplasmic linker associated protein 2 (CLASP2). In addition, phospho-resistant T/A-CRMP-2 counteracted the inhibitory myelin effect on neurite growth, further supporting the GSK3β-CRMP-2 relevance during axon regeneration.
Our work shows that increased microtubule growth speed in the growth cone is present in conditions of increased axonal growth, and is achieved following inactivation of the GSK3β-CRMP-2 pathway, enhancing axon regeneration through the glial scar. In this context, our results support that a precise control of microtubule dynamics, specifically in the growth cone, is required to optimize axon regrowth.
PMCID: PMC4229956  PMID: 24923837
GSK3β; CRMP-2; Growth cone; Microtubule; Axon regeneration
19.  Ferulic acid regulates the AKT/GSK-3β/CRMP-2 signaling pathway in a middle cerebral artery occlusion animal model 
Laboratory Animal Research  2013;29(2):63-69.
Ferulic acid, a component of the plants Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels and Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort, exerts a neuroprotective effect by regulating various signaling pathways. This study showed that ferulic acid treatment prevents the injury-induced increase of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) in focal cerebral ischemia. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) regulates CRMP-2 function through phosphorylation of CRMP-2. Moreover, the pro-apoptotic activity of GSK-3β is inactivated by phosphorylation by Akt. This study investigated whether ferulic acid modulates the expression of CRMP-2 and its upstream targets, Akt and GSK-3β, in focal cerebral ischemia. Male rats were treated immediately with ferulic acid (100 mg/kg, i.v.) or vehicle after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and then cerebral cortices were collected 24 hr after MCAO. MCAO resulted in decreased levels of phospho-Akt and phospho-GSK-3β, while ferulic acid treatment prevented the decrease in the levels of these proteins. Moreover, phospho-CRMP-2 and CRMP-2 levels increased during MCAO, whereas ferulic acid attenuated these injury-induced increases. These results demonstrate that ferulic acid regulates the Akt/GSK-3β/CRMP-2 signaling pathway in focal cerebral ischemic injury, thereby protecting against brain injury.
PMCID: PMC3696626  PMID: 23825478
Ferulic acid; neuroprotection; Akt; GSK-3β; CRMP-2
20.  Silencing collapsin response mediator protein-2 reprograms macrophage phenotype and improves infarct healing in experimental myocardial infarction model 
Delayed M1 toward M2 macrophage phenotype transition is considered one of the major causes for the impaired healing after myocardial infarction (MI). While searching for molecules that modulate M1 and M2 macrophage polarization, we identified collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP2) as a novel molecule involved in macrophage polarization to M1. In this study, we evaluated the effect of silencing CRMP2 on macrophage polarization, inflammation and fibrosis post myocardial infarction.
CRMP2 expression was assessed with Western blotting or immunohistochemistry. Macrophage phenotypes were measured with flow cytometry, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), Western blotting or immunohistochemistry. CRMP2 siRNA was delivered into the macrophages infiltrated in the wound of ApoE−/− mice through lipidoid nanoparticle, and fibrosis, leukocyte infiltration and inflammation parameters were measured with qPCR. Infarct size was measured with Masson’s trichrome staining. Echocardiography was performed to assess ventricular systolic dimension, left ventricular diastolic dimension, anterior wall thickness and posterior wall thickness. Student’s t-test (for 2 groups) and ANOVA (for > 2 groups) were used for statistical analyses.
CRMP2 was expressed in a higher level in M1 macrophages than M2 subsets, and CRMP2 RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in a switch of bone marrow-derived macrophages from M1 to M2 phenotype. High level of CRMP2 was also observed in the macrophages infiltrated in the infarct area 3 days post MI in both wildtype (WT) and ApoE−/− mice, and the expression of CRMP2 retained in the infiltrated macrophages of ApoE−/− mice but not in that of WT mice 10 days after MI. Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of CRMP2 siRNA to ApoE−/− mice with MI resulted in dramatic switch of wound macrophages from M1 to M2 phenotype, marked decrease in inflammation and fibrosis, and significant attenuation of post-MI heart failure and mortality.
CRMP2 is highly expressed in M1 macrophages and silencing CRMP2 reprograms macrophage phenotype and improves infarct healing in atherosclerotic mice.
PMCID: PMC4328069  PMID: 25685072
Collapsin response mediator protein-2; Macrophages; Phenotypes; Inflammation; ApoE−/−; Myocardial infarction; Fibrosis
21.  Protein Product of CLN6 Gene Responsible for Variant Late-Onset Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis Interacts with CRMP-2 
Journal of neuroscience research  2009;87(9):2157-2166.
Mutations in CLN6 cause variant late-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL), a childhood neurodegenerative disorder resulting from aberrant neuronal cell loss and pathological accumulation of lysosomal auto-fluorescent storage material in the central nervous system. The direct function of the endoplasmic reticulum– resident protein CLN6 and how dysfunction of this protein results in vLINCL are unknown. We report that CLN6 interacts with collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP-2). To further understand the significance and possible contribution to vLINCL of the CLN6–CRMP-2 interaction, we utilized the nclf mouse, which harbors mutations in CLN6. Significantly, CRMP-2 protein level was found to be reduced in the nclf mouse brain, particularly in the thalamus. Because CRMP-2 functions in growth cone collapse and is an effector protein downstream of Sema3A signaling, this pathway was examined via a dorsal root ganglion (DRG) repulsion assay. However, there were no defects in the repulsion of DRGs derived from nclf mice, indicating that the loss of CLN6 does not affect Sema3A signaling. CRMP-2 has also been implicated in controlling axon number and outgrowth, as observed in cultured hippocampal neurons. Therefore, we explored the formation and maturation of hippocampal neurons derived from nclf mice in a glial coculture system. The maturation of these neurons was reduced; by day in vitro (DIV) 8, more than 50% of nclf-derived hippocampal neurons had died. Additionally, beginning around DIV4, nclf neurons were less mature than their WT counterparts, presumably because of an inability to form mature synaptic connections. We concluded that alterations in neurite maturation resulting from a loss of CLN6–CRMP-2 interaction may contribute to neuronal dysfunction and pathology in vLINCL.
PMCID: PMC4113904  PMID: 19235893
semaphorin 3A; axon outgrowth; nclf mouse; dihydropyrimidinase-like-2 (DRP-2)
22.  A Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 2 Isoform Controls Myosin II-Mediated Cell Migration and Matrix Assembly by Trapping ROCK II 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(10):1788-1804.
Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) is known as a regulator of neuronal polarity and differentiation through microtubule assembly and trafficking. Here, we show that CRMP-2 is ubiquitously expressed and a splice variant (CRMP-2L), which is expressed mainly in epithelial cells among nonneuronal cells, regulates myosin II-mediated cellular functions, including cell migration. While the CRMP-2 short form (CRMP-2S) is recognized as a substrate of the Rho-GTP downstream kinase ROCK in neuronal cells, a CRMP-2 complex containing 2L not only bound the catalytic domain of ROCK II through two binding domains but also trapped and inhibited the kinase. CRMP-2L protein levels profoundly affected haptotactic migration and the actin-myosin cytoskeleton of carcinoma cells as well as nontransformed epithelial cell migration in a ROCK activity-dependent manner. Moreover, the ectopic expression of CRMP-2L but not -2S inhibited fibronectin matrix assembly in fibroblasts. Underlying these responses, CRMP-2L regulated the kinase activity of ROCK II but not ROCK I, independent of GTP-RhoA levels. This study provides a new insight into CRMP-2 as a controller of myosin II-mediated cellular functions through the inhibition of ROCK II in nonneuronal cells.
PMCID: PMC3347402  PMID: 22431514
23.  Release of MICAL Autoinhibition by Semaphorin-Plexin Signaling Promotes Interaction with Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 
Semaphorin activation of Plexin (Plex) receptors provides axonal guidance during neuronal development. Two families of cytoplasmic proteins, collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) and molecules interacting with CasL (MICALs), have been implicated in Plexin function. The relationship between CRMP and MICAL signaling has not been defined nor is the mechanism by which Plexin activates MICAL clear. Here, we show that CRMP and MICAL physically associate and that Sema signaling promotes this association. MICAL enzymatic activity is inhibited by the C-terminal domain of MICAL. CRMP and Plexin associate with nonenzymatic and enzymatic domains of MICAL and together release MICAL enzymatic autoinhibition. In addition to acting as an upstream MICAL activator, CRMP functions downstream of MICAL, inhibiting the catalytic domain. A constitutively active CRMP mutant inhibits MICAL activity more potently than does wild-type CRMP, suggesting that CRMP or a CRMP-associated factor is a MICAL substrate. Thus, complex Plex/CRMP/MICAL interactions transduce Semaphorin signaling into axon guidance.
PMCID: PMC2846290  PMID: 18305261
plexin; neuropilin; semaphorin; MICAL; axonal guidance; growth cone collapse; CRMP
24.  GSK3 Regulates Mitotic Chromosomal Alignment through CRMP4 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14345.
Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK3) has been implicated in regulating chromosomal alignment and mitotic progression but the physiological substrates mediating these GSK3-dependent effects have not been identified. Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 4 (CRMP4) is a cytosolic phosphoprotein known to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and is a known physiological substrate of GSK3. In this study, we investigate the role of CRMP4 during mitosis.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Here we demonstrate that during mitosis CRMP4 phosphorylation is regulated in a GSK3-dependent manner. We show that CRMP4 localizes to spindle microtubules during mitosis and loss of CRMP4 disrupts chromosomal alignment and mitotic progression. The effect of CRMP4 on chromosomal alignment is dependent on phosphorylation by GSK3 identifying CRMP4 as a critical GSK3 substrate during mitotic progression. We also provide mechanistic data demonstrating that CRMP4 regulates spindle microtubules consistent with its known role in the regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Conclusion and Significance
Our findings identify CRMP4 as a key physiological substrate of GSK3 in regulating chromosomal alignment and mitotic progression through its effect on spindle microtubules.
PMCID: PMC3002381  PMID: 21179545
25.  Proteomic Identification of Binding Partners for the Brain Metabolite Lanthionine Ketimine (LK) and Documentation of LK Effects on Microglia and Motoneuron Cell Cultures 
Lanthionine ketimine (LK) represents a poorly-understood class of thioethers present in mammalian central nervous system. Previous work has indicated high-affinity interaction of LK with synaptosomal membrane protein(s) but neither LK binding partners nor specific bioactivities have been reported. In this study LK was chemically synthesized and used as an affinity agent to capture binding partners from mammalian brain lysate. Liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) of electrophoretically-separated, LK-bound proteins identified polypeptides implicated in axon remodeling or vesicle trafficking, and diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia: Collapsin response mediator protein-2/dihydropyrimidinase-like protein-2 (CRMP2/DRP2/DPYSL2); myelin basic protein (MBP); and syntaxin-binding protein-1 (STXBP1/Munc-18). Also identified was the recently discovered glutathione (GSH)-binding protein, lanthionine synthetase-like protein-1 (LanCL1). Functional consequences of LK:CRMP2 interactions were probed through immunoprecipitation studies using brain lysate wherein LK was found to increase CRMP2 co-precipitation with its partner neurofibromin-1 (NF1), but decreased CRMP2 co-precipitation with β-tubulin. Functional studies of NSC-34 motor neuron-like cells indicated that a cell-permeable LK-ester, LKE, was non-toxic and protective against oxidative challenge with H2O2. LKE-treated NSC-34 cells significantly increased neurite number and length in a serum concentration-dependent fashion, consistent with a CRMP2 interaction. Finally, LKE antagonized the activation of EOC-20 microglia by inflammogens. The results are discussed with reference to possible biochemical origins, paracrine functions, neurological significance and pharmacological potential of lanthionyl compounds.
PMCID: PMC2836831  PMID: 20181595
lanthionine ketimine; LanCL1; Mannich reaction; glutathione; collapsin mediator response protein; neuroinflammation

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