Galactosemia: Towards Pharmacological Chaperones
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Galactose metabolismEnzymesProtein misfoldingProtein degradationLigand bindingGalactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferaseGalactokinaseUDP-galactose 40-epimeraseGalactose mutarotaseDrug screening
Banford, S.; McCorvie, T.J.; Pey, A.L.; Timson, D.J. Galactosemia: Towards Pharmacological Chaperones. J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11, 106. [https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11020106]
SponsorshipERDF/Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities-State Research Agency RTI2018-096246-B-I00; FEDER/Junta de Andalucía - Consejería de Transformación Económica, Industria, Conocimiento y Universidades P18-RT-2413
Galactosemia is a rare inherited metabolic disease resulting from mutations in the four genes which encode enzymes involved in the metabolism of galactose. The current therapy, the removal of galactose from the diet, is inadequate. Consequently, many patients suffer lifelong physical and cognitive disability. The phenotype varies from almost asymptomatic to life-threatening disability. The fundamental biochemical cause of the disease is a decrease in enzymatic activity due to failure of the affected protein to fold and/or function correctly. Many novel therapies have been proposed for the treatment of galactosemia. Often, these are designed to treat the symptoms and not the fundamental cause. Pharmacological chaperones (PC) (small molecules which correct the folding of misfolded proteins) represent an exciting potential therapy for galactosemia. In theory, they would restore enzyme function, thus preventing downstream pathological consequences. In practice, no PCs have been identified for potential application in galactosemia. Here, we review the biochemical basis of the disease, identify opportunities for the application of PCs and describe how these might be discovered. We will conclude by considering some of the clinical issues which will affect the future use of PCs in the treatment of galactosemia.