Peptide-based approaches to treat asthma, arthritis, other autoimmune diseases and pathologies of the central nervous system
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In this review we focus on peptide- and peptidomimetic-based approaches that target autoimmune diseases and some pathologies of the central nervous system. Special attention is given to asthma, allergic rhinitis, osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer's disease, but other related pathologies are also reviewed, although to a lesser degree. Among others, drugs like Diacerhein and its active form Rhein, Pralnacasan, Anakinra (Kineret), Omalizumab, an anti-beta chain antibody 'BION-1', are described below as well as attempts to target beta-amyloid peptide aggregation. Parts of the review are also dedicated to targeting of pathologic conditions in the brain and in other tissues with peptides as well as methods to deliver larger molecules through the 'blood-brain barrier' by exploring receptor-mediated transport, or elsewhere in the body by using peptides as carriers through cellular membranes. In addition to highlighting current developments in the field, we also propose, for future drug targets, the components of the inflammasome protein complex, which is believed to initiate the activation of caspase-1 dependent signaling events, as well as other pathways that signal inflammation. Thus we discuss the possibility of targeting inflammasome components for negative or positive modulation of an inflammatory response.
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Kristin Hauff, Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, Cancer Care Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada