An N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor channel blocker with neuroprotective activity Article

Tai, KK, Blondelle, SE, Ostresh, JM et al. (2001). An N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor channel blocker with neuroprotective activity . PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 98(6), 3519-3524. 10.1073/pnas.061449498

cited authors

  • Tai, KK; Blondelle, SE; Ostresh, JM; Houghten, RA; Montal, M


  • Excitotoxicity, resulting from sustained activation of glutamate receptors of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype, is considered to play a causative role in the etiology of ischemic stroke and several neurodegenerative diseases. The NMDA receptor is therefore a target for the development of neuroprotective agents. Here, we identify an N-benzylated triamine (denoted as NBTA) as a highly selective and potent NMDA-receptor channel blocker selected by screening a reduced dipeptidomimetic synthetic combinatorial library. NBTA blocks recombinant NMDA receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes with a mean IC50 of 80 nM; in contrast, it does not block GluR1, a glutamate receptor of the non-NMDA subtype. The blocking activity of NBTA on NMDA receptors exhibits the characteristics of an open-channel blocker: (i) no competition with agonists, (ii) voltage dependence, and (iii) use dependence. Significantly, NBTA protects rodent hippocampal neurons from NMDA receptor, but not kainate receptor-mediated excitotoxic cell death, in agreement with its selective action on the corresponding recombinant receptors. Mutagenesis data indicate that the N site, a key asparagine on the M2 transmembrane segment of the NR1 subunit, is the main determinant of the blocker action. The results highlight the potential of this compound as a neuroprotectant.

publication date

  • March 13, 2001

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 3519

end page

  • 3524


  • 98


  • 6