A pharmacological chaperone is a relatively new concept in the treatment of certain chronic disabling diseases. Cells maintain a complete set of functionally competent proteins normally and in the face of injury or environmental stress with the use of various mechanisms, including systems of proteins called molecular chaperones. Proteins that are denatured by any form of proteotoxic stress are cooperatively recognized by heat shock proteins (HSP) and directed for refolding or degradation. Under non-denaturing conditions HSP have important functions in cell physiology such as in transmembrane protein transport and in enabling assembly and folding of newly synthesized polypeptides. Besides cellular molecular chaperones, which are stress-induced proteins, there have been recently reported chemical, or so-called pharmacological chaperones with demonstrated ability to be effective in preventing misfolding of different diseasecausing proteins, specifically in the therapeutic management of sight-threatening eye diseases, essentially reducing the severity of several neurodegenerative disorders (such as age-related macular degeneration), cataract and many other protein-misfolding diseases. This work reviews the biological and therapeutic activities protected with the patents of the family of imidazole-containing peptidomimetics Carcinine (β-alanylhistamine), N-acetylcarnosine (N-acetyl-β-alanylhistidine) and Carnosine (β-alanyl-l-histidine) which are essential constituents possessing diverse biological and pharmacological chaperone properties in human tissues.
Keywords: Natural imidazole-containing peptidomimetics, carcinine, N-acetylcarnosine, L-carnosine, chemical and
pharmacological chaperones, skin care, photoaging, cosmetic science, ophthalmic treatment, human cataractous lenses, agerelated
cataract, age-related macular degeneration, ocular complications of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, oxidative stress, lipid
peroxidation, lipid hydroperoxides, non-enzymatic glycation, protein cross-linking, transglycation activity, SOD-like activity,
universal antioxidants, formulations and products, review of patent protection.
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