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Therapeutic Proteins for Treatment of Corneal Epithelial Defects

Therapeutic Proteins for Treatment of Corneal Epithelial Defects

Current Medicinal Chemistry 26(3): 517-545

ISSN/ISBN: 0929-8673

PMID: 28595546

Corneal epithelial disorders take pride of place in modern ophthalmology. Defects of corneal epithelium are commonly accompanied by blurry vision, photophobia and tearing. Since cornea is the most densely innervated tissue of organisms, its disruption leads to development of a severe pain syndrome. Mild corneal erosions commonly undergo quick spontaneous recovery. Suppression of corneal wound healing due to various pathological causes results in development of severe recurrent erosions and persistent corneal defects. These pathological events can in turn lead to corneal scarring, opacification, and ulceration of cornea, and ultimately to the permanent vision impairment. The etiology of the underlying corneal diseases that commonly involves inflammatory, neurotrophic and systemic factors, should be considered for treating such defects. Therefore, the research focus has been shifted to establish therapeutics based on proteins and peptides. Due to varied mechanisms of action, proteinbased pharmaceuticals can be involved in the protection of corneal surface, mimicking tear components, stimulation of corneal wound healing, regeneration of corneal innervation, suppressing oxidative stress, inflammation and neovascularization. The active components can be naturally occurring (blood- or tear-derived) or be created de novo and optimized in order to achieve the level of activity required. Such pharmaceuticals are characterized by low toxicity and absence of systemic side-effects due to their low absorption into the bloodstream, if administrated topically. This review summarizes existing data on protein-based drugs for treatment of corneal epithelial defects that are currently under preclinical development or testing in clinical trials, or approved for medical use.

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Accession: 060378726

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