1.The activity of CART peptide fragments.
Dylag T1, Kotlinska J, Rafalski P, Pachuta A, Silberring J. Peptides. 2006 Aug;27(8):1926-33. Epub 2006 May 30.
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides attracted much attention after the discovery that the level of CART mRNA is increased in rat striatum after acute administration of cocaine and amphetamine. The most widely investigated sequence is CART (55-102), whose roles were confirmed in modulation of various physiological processes such as feeding, energy expenditure, stress control, endocrine secretion, and reward. However, peptides other than (55-102) may be generated from the CART precursor as well. This review describes biological activity of peptides derived from the CART precursor in vivo, and of synthetic CART fragments that have not been found in the nature. In particular, the activity of CART (85-102) is described, whose ability to exert behavioral responses was confirmed by the observed attenuation of the expression of sensitization to morphine-induced hyperlocomotion. This fragment also decreased the number of escape jumps evoked by naloxone in morphine-addicted mice after intracerebroventricular administration.
2.Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides play a role in drug abuse and are potential therapeutic targets.
Kuhar MJ1, Jaworski JN, Hubert GW, Philpot KB, Dominguez G. AAPS J. 2005 Sep 2;7(1):E259-65.
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides (55 to 102 and 62 to 102) are neurotransmitters with important roles in a number of physiologic processes. They have a role in drug abuse by virtue of the fact that they are modulators of mesolimbic function. Key findings supporting a role in drug abuse are as follows. First, high densities of CART-containing nerve terminals are localized in mesolimbic areas. Second, CART 55 to 102 blunts some of the behavioral effects of cocaine and dopamine (DA). This functional antagonism suggests that CART peptides be considered as targets for medications development. Third, CREB in the nucleus accumbens has been shown to have an opposing effect on cocaine self-administration. CREB may activate CART expression in that region, and, if so, CART may mediate at least some of the effects of CREB. Fourth, in addition to the effects of CART on DA, DA can influence CART in the accumbens. Thus a complex interacting circuitry likely exists.
3.Processing of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) precursor proteins by prohormone convertases (PCs) and its implications.
Stein J1, Steiner DF, Dey A. Peptides. 2006 Aug;27(8):1919-25. Epub 2006 Jun 19.
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides are expressed in several neuroendocrine tissues, including hypothalamus, pituitary, gut, adrenal and pancreas, and are involved in regulating important biological processes including feeding/appetite, drug reward and stress. CART is synthesized as larger, inactive peptide precursors (pro-CART) that require endoproteolytic processing to generate smaller, active forms. Prohormone/proprotein convertases (PCs), a family of calcium-dependent, serine endoproteases, have been shown to cleave many protein precursors in the regulated/constitutive secretory pathway to generate smaller fragments. In our previous studies, we have demonstrated the important roles of the two neuroendocrine-specific PCs, PC2 and PC1/3, in processing the two pro-CART isoforms, long (102aa) and short (89aa), to generate the bioactive CART peptides, I (55-102/42-89) and II (62-102/49-89) as well as the intermediate fragments, 10-89 and 33-102.
4.CART Peptides Regulate Psychostimulants and May be Endogenous Antidepressants.
Job MO1, McNamara IM, Kuhar MJ. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2011 Mar;9(1):12-6. doi: 10.2174/157015911795017074.
CART peptides are endogenous neurotransmitters that are involved in a variety of physiologic functions. Injection of CART 55-102 into the nucleus accumbens produces no effect, but when co-administered with cocaine, it reduces the locomotor and rewarding properties of cocaine. In a human study, subjects carrying a missense mutation of the CART gene exhibited increased anxiety and depression. Also, several animal studies support the idea that CART is involved in anxiety and depression, and they also suggest several possible mechanisms by which this may occur. Thus, there is interesting evidence that CART peptides play a role in anxiety and depression, and that CART peptides may be endogenous antidepressants.