NAP: Research and development of a peptide derived from activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP)

Illana Gozes*, Bruce H. Morimoto, Jacqueline Tiong, Anthony Fox, Karole Sutherland, David Dangoor, Miriam Holser-Cochav, Karin Vered, Paul Newton, Paul S. Aisen, Yasuji Matsuoka, Christopher H. Van Dyck, Leon Thal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) is essential for brain formation. Peptide activity scanning identified NAP (NAPVSIPQ) as a small active fragment of ADNP that provides neuroprotection at very low concentrations. In cell culture, NAP has demonstrated protection against toxicity associated with the beta-amyloid peptide, N-methyl-D-aspartate, electrical blockade, the envelope protein of the AIDS virus, dopamine, H2O2, nutrient starvation and zinc overload. NAP has also provided neuroprotection in animal models of apolipoprotein E deficiency, cholinergic toxicity, closed head injury, stroke, middle aged anxiety and cognitive dysfunction. NAP binds to tubulin and facilitates microtubule assembly leading to enhanced cellular survival that is associated with fundamental cytoskeletal elements. A liquid-chromatography, mass spectrometry assay demonstrated that NAP reaches the brain after either intravenous or intranasal administration. In a battery of toxicological tests including repeated dose toxicity in rats and dogs, cardiopulmonary tests in dogs, and functional behavioral assays in rats, no adverse side effects were observed with NAP concentrations that were ∼500-fold higher than the biologically active dose. A Phase Ia clinical trial in the US assessed the tolerability and pharmacokinetics of intranasal administration of NAP in sequential ascending doses. The results supported the safety and tolerability of a single dose of NAP administered at up to 15 mg intranasally. Furthermore, dosing was recently completed for a second Phase I clinical trial in healthy adults and elderly volunteers with an intravenous formulation of NAP. NAP is poised for further clinical development targeting several indications, including Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-368
Number of pages16
JournalCNS Drug Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


FundersFunder number
National Institute on AgingN01AG092117
National Institute on Aging


    • ADNP
    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Animal models
    • Glial cells
    • Head injury
    • NAP
    • Neuropeptides
    • Neuroprotection
    • Stroke


    Dive into the research topics of 'NAP: Research and development of a peptide derived from activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this