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Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2011 Jun;21(6):885-903. doi: 10.1517/13543776.2011.569162. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

Pharmacological chaperone therapy for Gaucher disease: a patent review.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas, CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla, 41092 Sevilla, Spain.



Mutations in the gene encoding for acid β-glucosidase (β-glucocerebrosidase, GlcCerase) are seen in Gaucher disease (GD), which give rise to significant protein misfolding effects and result in progressive accumulation of glucosyl ceramide. The main treatment for GD is enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). The iminosugar glycosidase inhibitor N-(n-butyl)-1-deoxynojirimycin (miglustat, Zavesca™) is used in a second treatment modality known as substrate reduction therapy. At the beginning of the 21st century, a third therapeutic paradigm was launched, namely, pharmacological chaperone therapy (PCT). This therapeutic strategy relies on the capability of such inhibitors to promote the correct folding and stabilize mutant forms of lysosomal enzymes, such as GlcCerase, as they pass through the secretory pathway.


This review summarizes the different approaches used to implement the concept of PCT for GD. It discusses the relevant research, patents and patent applications filed in the last decade.


While the significance of PCT remains a matter of debate, the great interest gathered regarding it in a relatively few years reflects its broad potential scope, well beyond GD. The fact that pharmacological chaperones can be designed to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) make them candidates for the treatment of neuronopathic forms of GD that are not responsive to ERT. Combined therapies offer even broader possibilities that deserve to be fully explored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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