Calpain product of WT-CRMP2 reduces the amount of surface NR2B NMDA receptor subunit


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Joel Premont, INSERM U114, Collège de France, 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France. E-mail:


The brain is particularly vulnerable to ischaemia; however, neurons can become tolerant to ischaemic insult. This tolerance has been shown to involve activation of NMDA receptors, but its mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. Using a preconditioning protocol, we show that neurons surviving to a transient NMDA exposure become resistant to the glutamatergic agonist. Using a proteomic approach, we found that alterations of the protein pattern of NMDA-resistant neurons are restricted mainly to the five collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs). A sustained increase in calpain activity following NMDA treatment is responsible for the production of cleaved CRMPs. Finally, we provide evidence for the involvement of the cleaved form of WT-CRMP2 in the down-regulation of NR2B. Our data suggests that, beside their role in neuronal morphogenesis, CRMPs may contribute to neuronal plasticity.