Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Genet Metab. 2009 Apr;96(4):225-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2008.12.008. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Diltiazem, a L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker, also acts as a pharmacological chaperone in Gaucher patient cells.

Author information

Genetics & Genome Biology Program, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5G 1X8.


Recently, inhibition of L-type Ca(2+) channels, using either Diltiazem or Verapamil, has been reported to partially restore mutant glucocerebrosidase activity in cells from patients with Gaucher disease homozygous for the N370S or L444P alleles, as well as cells from patients with two other lysosomal storage diseases. It was hypothesized that these drugs act on the endoplasmic reticulum, increasing its folding efficiency, inhibited due to altered calcium homeostasis. Several other laboratories have reported that cells carrying either the N370S or the F213I alleles are amenable to enzyme enhancement therapy with pharmacological chaperones, whereas cells homozygous for L444P respond poorly. We found that Verapamil treatment does not enhance mutant enzyme activity in any of the cell lines tested, while Diltiazem moderately increases activity in normal cells, and in N370S/N370S and F213I/L444P, but not in L444P/L444P Gaucher cells, or in either of two adult Tay-Sachs disease cell lines. Since the mode of action of pharmacological chaperones and Diltiazem are believed to be different, we examined the possibility that they could act in concert. Diltiazem co-administered with known chaperones failed to increase enzyme activities above that reached by chaperone-treatment alone in any of the patient cell lines. Thus, we re-examined the possibility that Diltiazem acts as a pharmacological chaperone. We found that, at the acidic pH of lysosomes, Diltiazem was not an inhibitor, nor did its presence increase the heat stability of glucocerebrosidase. However, at neutral pH, found in the endoplasmic reticulum, Diltiazem exhibited both of these properties. Thus Diltiazem exhibits the biochemical characteristics of a glucocerebrosidase pharmacological chaperone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center