Active-site-specific chaperone therapy for Fabry disease: Yin and Yang of enzyme inhibitors


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Abstract

Protein misfolding is recognized as an important pathophysiological cause of protein deficiency in many genetic disorders. Inherited mutations can disrupt native protein folding, thereby producing proteins with misfolded conformations. These misfolded proteins are consequently retained and degraded by endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation, although they would otherwise be catalytically fully or partially active. Active-site directed competitive inhibitors are often effective active-site-specific chaperones when they are used at subinhibitory concentrations. Active-site-specific chaperones act as a folding template in the endoplasmic reticulum to facilitate folding of mutant proteins, thereby accelerating their smooth escape from the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation to maintain a higher level of residual enzyme activity. In Fabry disease, degradation of mutant lysosomal α-galactosidase A caused by a large set of missense mutations was demonstrated to occur within the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation as a result of the misfolding of mutant proteins. 1-Deoxygalactonojirimycin is one of the most potent inhibitors of α-galactosidase A. It has also been shown to be the most effective active-site-specific chaperone at increasing residual enzyme activity in cultured fibroblasts and lymphoblasts established from Fabry patients with a variety of missense mutations. Oral administration of 1-deoxygalactonojirimycin to transgenic mice expressing human R301Q α-galactosidase A yielded higher α-galactosidase A activity in major tissues. These results indicate that 1-deoxygalactonojirimycin could be of therapeutic benefit to Fabry patients with a variety of missense mutations, and that the active-site-specific chaperone approach using functional small molecules may be broadly applicable to other lysosomal storage disorders and other protein deficiencies.

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