Newly Identified Aplysia SPTR-Gene Family-Derived Peptides: Localization and Function

Guo Zhang, Wang Ding Yuan, Ferdinand S. Vilim, Elena V. Romanova, Ke Yu, Si Yuan Yin, Zi Wei Le, Ying Yu Xue, Ting Ting Chen, Guo Kai Chen, Song An Chen, Elizabeth C. Cropper, Jonathan V. Sweedler, Klaudiusz R. Weiss, Jian Jing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When individual neurons in a circuit contain multiple neuropeptides, these peptides can target different sets of follower neurons. This endows the circuit with a certain degree of flexibility. Here we identified a novel family of peptides, the Aplysia SPTR-Gene Family-Derived peptides (apSPTR-GF-DPs). We demonstrated apSPTR-GF-DPs, particularly apSPTR-GF-DP2, are expressed in the Aplysia CNS using immunohistochemistry and MALDI-TOF MS. Furthermore, apSPTR-GF-DP2 is present in single projection neurons, e.g., in the cerebral-buccal interneuron-12 (CBI-12). Previous studies have demonstrated that CBI-12 contains two other peptides, FCAP/CP2. In addition, CBI-12 and CP2 promote shortening of the protraction phase of motor programs. Here, we demonstrate that FCAP shortens protraction. Moreover, we show that apSPTR-GF-DP2 also shortens protraction. Surprisingly, apSPTR-GF-DP2 does not increase the excitability of retraction interneuron B64. B64 terminates protraction and is modulated by FCAP/CP2 and CBI-12. Instead, we show that apSPTR-GF-DP2 and CBI-12 increase B20 excitability and B20 activity can shorten protraction. Taken together, these data indicate that different CBI-12 peptides target different sets of pattern-generating interneurons to exert similar modulatory actions. These findings provide the first definitive evidence for SPTR-GF's role in modulation of feeding, and a form of molecular degeneracy by multiple peptide cotransmitters in single identified neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2041-2053
Number of pages13
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018


  • Aplysia
  • SPTR-Gene Family-Derived peptides
  • feeding
  • neuromodulation
  • neuropeptides
  • projection interneuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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