A new cell-penetrating peptide that blocks the autoinhibitory XIP domain of NCX1 and enhances antiporter activity

Pasquale Molinaro, Anna Pannaccione, Maria José Sisalli, Agnese Secondo, Ornella Cuomo, Rossana Sirabella, Maria Cantile, Roselia Ciccone, Antonella Scorziello, Gianfranco Di Renzo, Lucio Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The plasma membrane Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) is a high-capacity ionic transporter that exchanges 3Na+ ions for 1Ca2+ ion. The first 20 amino acids of the f-loop, named exchanger inhibitory peptide (XIPNCX1), represent an autoinhibitory region involved in the Na+-dependent inactivation of the exchanger. Previous research has shown that an exogenous peptide having the same amino acid sequence as the XIPNCX1 region exerts an inhibitory effect on NCX activity. In this study, we identified another regulatory peptide, named P1, which corresponds to the 562-688aa region of the exchanger. Patch-clamp analysis revealed that P1 increased the activity of the exchanger, whereas the XIP inhibited it. Furthermore, P1 colocalized with NCX1 thus suggesting a direct binding interaction. In addition, site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that the binding and the stimulatory effect of P1 requires a functional XIPNCX1 domain on NCX1 thereby suggesting that P1 increases the exchanger activity by counteracting the action of this autoinhibitory sequence. Taken together, these results open a new strategy for developing peptidomimetic compounds that, by mimicking the functional pharmacophore of P1, might increase NCX1 activity and thus exert a therapeutic action in those diseases in which an increase in NCX1 activity might be helpful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-476
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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