Could sugar make treating liver disease easier?

Categorie(s) : Research

Published : 5 December 2016

Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes copper to build up in the liver, is treated using chelating agents to remove the metal. Research conducted by INAC, BIG*, and DCM** looked at two chelating agents that could ultimately offer improved penetration into liver cells.

The chelating agents were functionalized with N-Acetylgalactosamine, a sugar that interacts specifically with liver cell membranes’ biological receptors. Penetration is improved as the number of units of the sugar is increased. For example, with three to four units per molecule, the optimal value, efficiency was 1,000 to 10,000 times better than with a single unit.

The researchers are now working on further improving liver-cell targeting. At the level currently attained, the chelating agent’s affinity for the biological receptor is close to that of proteins used in vivo.

*Formerly iRTSV

**Molecular Chemistry Department (CNRS-UGA)



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