Receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is expressed in a range of cell types such as endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, mesangial cells, mononuclear phagocytes and certain neurons. It is a multi-ligand receptor and a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell surface molecules. Its repertoire of ligands includes advanced glycation end products (AGEs), amyloid fibrils, amphoterin and S100/calgranulins. This variety of ligands allows RAGE to be implicated in a wide spectrum of pathological conditions such as diabetes and its complications, Alzheimers disease, cancer and inflammation. Additionally, genetic polymorphisms in the RAGE gene may have impact on the functional activity of the receptor. It becomes obvious that RAGE pathway is a complicated one and the question of whether blockade of RAGE is a feasible and safe strategy for the prevention/treatment of chronic diseases is gradually gaining the attention of the pharmaceutical community. In this review the biology of RAGE and the triggered signaling cascades involved in health and disease will be presented. Additionally, its potential as an attractive pharmacotherapeutic target will be explored by pointing out the pharmacotherapeutic agents that have been developed for RAGE blockade.
Keywords: RAGE, AGEs, S100 proteins, amphoterin, amyloid fibrils, chronic diseases, homeostasis, ligand-RAGE inhibition/blockade