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Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(16):1679-89.

Enzyme replacement therapy in Fabry disease: influence on cardiac manifestations.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca of Murcia, Spain.


Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked glycosphingolipid storage disorder caused by deficient activity of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A. This leads to a progressive accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in the lysosomes of different cells and tissues, causing principally ventricular hypertrophy, renal failure and cerebrovascular accidents, reducing lifespan both in hemizygous males and heterozygous females. Residual enzyme activity might lead to slow progression of the disease and result in the so-called cardiac or renal variants with delayed presentation. Two different forms of alpha-galactosidase A enzyme replacement therapies (ERT) are available for the treatment of FD, one genetically engineered in human cell line (agalsidase alfa, Replagal, Shire) and the other produced in a Chinese hamster ovary cell line (agalsidase beta, Fabrazyme, Genzyme). Although both proteins are structurally and functionally very similar, with the same amino acid sequence as the native human enzyme, they differ in the pattern of glycosilation of the protein depending on the originating cell line. Studies with both preparations have described a reduction in plasma, urinary sediment and tissue levels of Gb3, a decrease in the frequency of pain crisis and a reduction in left ventricular mass and improvement or stabilization of renal function. Studies have generally shown the greatest benefit when treatment is started at an early stage of the disease before extensive fibrosis or other irreversible tissue damage takes place. However, more data are needed to document long-term treatment outcomes. The aim of the present review is to provide an update overview of the two different forms of ERT for FD, their clinical effects in cardiac manifestations and their possible differences in terms of efficacy, side effects and safety profiles.

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