Molecular Basis for the Neuroprotective Properties of FKBP-Binding Immunophilin Ligands
Non-immunosuppressive immunophilin ligands (NI-IPLs) are attracting attention as new candidate drugs for neuroprotection and / or neurorestoration, particularly, since they do not have the adverse effects of immunosuppressants. However, it is not yet enough to understand that NI-IPLs are useful drugs for treating neurological disorders. In particular, the molecular mechanism of NI-IPL activity in target cells in the brain remains obscure. In this review, we focused on the molecular basis of the neuroprotective properties of FK506 binding protein (FKBP)-binding IPLs. Our findings suggest that IPLs have neuroprotective effects mediated by multiple beneficial properties such as a GSH-activating effect, a NTF-activating effect, and an anti-apoptotic effect, but not by an immunosuppressive effect, both in cell cultures and in vivo. In particular, the GSH-activating effect and the NTF-activating effect of NI-IPLs may be essential to the expression of their neuroprotective properties. Thus, NI-IPLs might have a potentially beneficial effect by ameliorating neurological disorders, since they do not cause serious side effects such as immune deficiency.
Keywords: neuroimmunophilins, non-immunosuppressive immunophilin ligand, glutathione, gdnf, bdnf, apoptosis
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