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Mueller, Guenter (2010): Oral Protein Therapy for the Future - Transport of Glycolipid-Modified Proteins: Vision or Fiction? In: Pharmacology, No. 2: pp. 92-116




The reliable and early diagnosis of common complex multifactorial diseases depends on the individual determination of all (or as many as possible) polymorphisms of each susceptibility gene together with amount and type of the corresponding gene products and their downstream effects, including the synthesis and flux of metabolites and regulation of signalling processes. In addition, this system's biology-driven personalized diagnosis must be accompanied by options for personalized reliable and early therapy. In the midterm, the direct substitution or inhibition of the proteins encoded by the corresponding defective gene products of the susceptibility genes exerting lower or higher activity by administration of the `normal' proteins or inhibitory antibodies, respectively, seems to be most promising. The critical hurdle of oral bioavailability as well as transport into the cytoplasm of the target cells, if required, could be overcome by therapeutic proteins with carboxy-terminal modification by glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI). This may be deduced from recent experiments with rat adipocytes. Here this membrane-anchoring glycolipid structure induces the sequential transport of proteins from special regions of the plasma membrane via the surface of intracellular lipid droplets to special membrane vesicles, which are finally released from the adipocytes together with the associated GPI proteins. It remains to be studied whether similar molecular mechanisms operate in intestinal epithelial cells and may enable the transport of GPI proteins from the intestinal lumen into the blood stream. If so, modification of proteins encoded by (combinations of) susceptibility genes with GPI could significantly facilitate the personalized therapy of common diseases on the basis of `inborn' safety, efficacy, rapid realization and oral application. Copyright (C) 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel