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Recent Pat Drug Deliv Formul. 2012 Aug;6(2):107-48.

Structural and functional properties, chaperone activity and posttranslational modifications of alpha-crystallin and its related subunits in the crystalline lens: N-acetylcarnosine, carnosine and carcinine act as alpha- crystallin/small heat shock protein enhancers in prevention and dissolution of cataract in ocular drug delivery formulations of novel therapeutic agents.

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Innovative Vision Products, Inc., County of New Castle, Delaware 19810, USA.


Cataract is a leading cause of blindness worldwide and is responsible for ∼40-80% of the estimated 45 million cases of blindness that occur across the globe. In addition to providing refractive properties to the lens for focusing the image, it is believed that the molecular chaperone function of α-crystallin is essential in preventing the light scattering due to aggregation of other proteins and thus in the maintenance of lens transparency and thereby prevention of cataract. By now, it is fairly acknowledged that chaperoning ability of α-crystallin is instrumental in the maintenance of crystalline lens transparency, and decreased chaperone-like activity of α-crystallin is associated with various types and stages of cataract. A better pharmacological targeting of safeguarding the α-crystallin chaperone activity may aid the development of therapeutic strategies that could evade the need for cataract surgery and revive lens transparency of the cataractous lenses. This article originally summarizes the significance of modulation and enhancing of α-crystallin chaperone activity with imidazole-containing dipeptides N-acetylcarnosine, carnosine and carcinine in consequence to prevent, delay or dissolve the human cataract. A growing evidence and discussion of recent patents are presented in this study that demonstrate the ability of N-acetylcarnosine (lubricant eye drops) or carcinine (lubricant eye drops) (universal antioxidant and deglycation agent) resistant to enzymatic hydrolysis with carnosinase to act as pharmacological chaperones, to decrease oxidative stress and ameliorate oxidative and excessive glycation stress-related eye disease phenotypes, suggesting that the field of chaperone therapy might hold novel treatments for age-related cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and ocular complications of diabetes (OCD). The therapeutic strategies are highlighted in the study for identifying potential chaperone compounds and for experimentally demonstrating chaperone activity in in vitro and in vivo models of human age-related eye disease, such as cataracts and advanced glycation tissue proteins - engineered systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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