In α1-AT deficiency, a misfolded but functionally active mutant α1-ATZ (α1-ATZ) molecule is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum of liver cells rather than secreted into the blood and body fluids. Emphysema is thought to be caused by the lack of circulating α1-AT to inhibit neutrophil elastase in the lung. Liver injury is thought to be caused by the hepatotoxic effects of the retained α1-ATZ. In this study, we show that several "chemical chaperones," which have been shown to reverse the cellular mislocalization or misfolding of other mutant plasma membrane, nuclear, and cytoplasmic proteins, mediate increased secretion of α1-ATZ. In particular, 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) mediated a marked increase in secretion of functionally active α1-ATZ in a model cell culture system. Moreover, oral administration of PBA was well tolerated by PiZ mice (transgenic for the human α1-ATZ gene) and consistently mediated an increase in blood levels of human α1-AT reaching 20-50% of the levels present in PiM mice and normal humans. Because clinical studies have suggested that only partial correction is needed for prevention of both liver and lung injury in α1-AT deficiency and PBA has been used safely in humans, it constitutes an excellent candidate for chemoprophylaxis of target organ injury in α1-AT deficiency.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 15 2000|