1. [The Peptide Drug ACTH(4-7)PGP (Semax) Suppresses mRNA Transcripts Encoding Proinflammatory Mediators Induced by Reversible Ischemia of the Rat Brain]
L V Dergunova, L E Sevan'kaeva, L V Gubsky, L V Valieva, O Y Sudarkina, A E Denisova, N F Myasoedov, S A Limborska, V V Yuzhakov, V G Dmitrieva, I B Filippenkov, V V Stavchansky Mol Biol (Mosk) . 2021 May-Jun;55(3):402-411. doi: 10.31857/S0026898421010043.
Due to its nootropic, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory effects, the peptide Semax is utilized in the treatment of ischemic stroke. Our earlier RNA-Seq analysis of the transcriptome in an ischemic model of transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery showed an increase in the mRNA levels of many proinflammatory genes, and the suppression of their induction by Semax. However, for many relevant genes, including Il1a, Il1b, Il6 and Tnfa, the levels of their expression were too low for detailed quantitative evaluation. Here we utilize qRT-PCR to analyze the effects of the Semax peptide on the expression of weakly expressed mRNAs encoding several proinflammatory mediators, and show that exposure to Semax leads to a statistically significant decrease in the Il1a, Il1b, Il6, Ccl3, and Cxcl2 mRNAs, which compensates for the increase in the transcription of these genes induced by ischemia-reperfusion. We conclude that the observed protective effect of Semax in the model of stroke may be due to its anti-inflammatory effects. We also discuss the limitations of the RNA-Seq when applied to quantifying less abundant transcripts as compared to the real-time RT-PCR method.
2. Semax, an analog of ACTH(4-7), regulates expression of immune response genes during ischemic brain injury in rats
Veronika G Dmitrieva, Svetlana A Limborska, Lyudmila V Dergunova, Nikolay F Myasoedov, Ekaterina V Medvedeva Mol Genet Genomics . 2017 Jun;292(3):635-653. doi: 10.1007/s00438-017-1297-1.
Brain stroke continues to claim the lives of million people every year. To build the effective strategies for stroke treatment it is necessary to understand the neuroprotective mechanisms that are able to prevent the ischemic injury. Consisting of the ACTH(4-7)fragment and the tripeptide Pro-Gly-Pro (PGP), the synthetic peptide Semax effectively protects brain against ischemic stroke. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its neuroprotection and participation of PGP in them are still needed to be clarified. To reveal biological processes and signaling pathways, which are affected by Semax and PGP, we performed the transcriptome analysis of cerebral cortex of rats with focal cerebral ischemia treated by these peptides. The genome-wide biochip data analysis detected the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and bioinformatic web-tool Ingenuity iReport found DEGs associations with several biological processes and signaling pathways. The immune response is the process most markedly affected by the peptide: Semax enhances antigen presentation signaling pathway, intensifies the effect of ischemia on the interferon signaling pathways and affects the processes for synthesizing immunoglobulins. Semax significantly increased expression of the gene encoding the immunoglobulin heavy chain, highly affects on cytokine, stress response and ribosomal protein-encoding genes after occlusion. PGP treatment of rats with ischemia attenuates the immune activity and suppresses neurotransmission in the CNS. We suppose that neuroprotective mechanism of Semax is realized via the neuroimmune crosstalk, and the new properties of PGP were found under ischemia. Our results provided the basis for further proteomic investigations in the field of searching Semax neuroprotection mechanism.
3. The peptide semax affects the expression of genes related to the immune and vascular systems in rat brain focal ischemia: genome-wide transcriptional analysis
Nikolay F Myasoedov, Veronika I Skvortsova, Oksana V Povarova, Svetlana A Limborska, Lyudmila V Dergunova, Veronika G Dmitrieva, Ekaterina V Medvedeva BMC Genomics . 2014 Mar 24;15:228. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-228.
Background:The nootropic neuroprotective peptide Semax (Met-Glu-His-Phe-Pro-Gly-Pro) has proved efficient in the therapy of brain stroke; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying its action remain obscure. Our genome-wide study was designed to investigate the response of the transcriptome of ischemized rat brain cortex tissues to the action of Semax in vivo.Results:The gene-expression alteration caused by the action of the peptide Semax was compared with the gene expression of the "ischemia" group animals at 3 and 24 h after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). The peptide predominantly enhanced the expression of genes related to the immune system. Three hours after pMCAO, Semax influenced the expression of some genes that affect the activity of immune cells, and, 24 h after pMCAO, the action of Semax on the immune response increased considerably. The genes implicated in this response represented over 50% of the total number of genes that exhibited Semax-induced altered expression. Among the immune-response genes, the expression of which was modulated by Semax, genes that encode immunoglobulins and chemokines formed the most notable groups. In response to Semax administration, 24 genes related to the vascular system exhibited altered expression 3 h after pMCAO, whereas 12 genes were changed 24 h after pMCAO. These genes are associated with such processes as the development and migration of endothelial tissue, the migration of smooth muscle cells, hematopoiesis, and vasculogenesis.Conclusions:Semax affects several biological processes involved in the function of various systems. The immune response is the process most markedly affected by the drug. Semax altered the expression of genes that modulate the amount and mobility of immune cells and enhanced the expression of genes that encode chemokines and immunoglobulins. In conditions of rat brain focal ischemia, Semax influenced the expression of genes that promote the formation and functioning of the vascular system.The immunomodulating effect of the peptide discovered in our research and its impact on the vascular system during ischemia are likely to be the key mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of the peptide.