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Wound Repair Regen. 2003 Nov-Dec;11(6):439-44.

Role of ADP-ribosylation in wound repair. The contributions of Thomas K. Hunt, MD.

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  • 1Department of Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Nearly 36 years ago Thomas K. Hunt, with Patrick Twomey, was the first to report that the level of lactate significantly increases in healing wounds. This observation convinced him that lactate, besides being the by-product of glycolysis, must have a regulatory role in the healing process. He set out to investigate this observation and found it to be so. This article is written in recognition of his foresight. It summarizes the salient findings emanating from this fundamental observation and describes the biochemical principles by which most of the lactate action may be explained. Down-regulation of the ubiquitous protein modification reaction called ADP-ribosylation turned out to be a basic signal behind the role of lactate in wound healing.

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