Microtubule-stabilizing peptides and small molecules protecting axonal transport and brain function: focus on davunetide (NAP)

Neuropeptides. 2013 Dec;47(6):489-95. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2013.10.011. Epub 2013 Oct 24.


This review focuses on the therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action of NAP (davunetide), an eight amino acid snippet derived from activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) which was discovered in our laboratory. We have recently described the effects of NAP in neurodegenerative disorders, and we now review the beneficial effects of NAP and other microtubule-stabilizing agents on impairments in axonal transport. Experiments in animal models of microtubule-deficiency including tauopathy (spanning from drosophila to mammals) showed protection of axonal transport by microtubule-stabilizers and NAP, which was coupled to motor and cognitive protection. Clinical trials with NAP (davunetide) are reviewed paving the path to future developments.

Keywords: AD; ADNP; ALS; Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP); Alzheimer’s disease; Axonal transport; Davunetide; KO; MAP; MEMRI; NAP; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neurological disorders; STOP; activity-dependent neuroprotective protein; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; knockout; manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging; microtubule associated protein; stable tubule only peptide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Axonal Transport / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Microtubules / drug effects*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Oligopeptides / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Tauopathies / drug therapy
  • Tauopathies / metabolism
  • Tubulin Modulators / therapeutic use*
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Oligopeptides
  • Tubulin Modulators
  • tau Proteins
  • davunetide