- Sufficient blood, safe blood: can we have both? (2012)
- The decision in September 2011 in the UK to accept blood donations from non-practicing men who have sex with men (MSM) has received significant public attention. Will this rule change substantially boost the number of blood donations or will it make our blood less safe? Clearly, most European countries have a blood procurement problem. Fewer young people are donating, while the population is aging and more invasive therapies are requiring more blood. Yet if that was the reason for allowing non-practicing MSM to donate, clearly re-admission of some other, much larger populations that are currently deferred from donation should likewise be considered. As far as risks for blood safety are concerned, evidence has been provided that the current quality of infectious disease marker testing significantly mitigates against, although does not completely eradicate, risks associated with admission of donors with a high risk of carrying certain blood-transmissible agents. However, it could be argued that more effective recruitment of the non-donor pool, which is substantially larger than the group of currently ineligible donors, would be a better strategy. Recruitment of this group will benefit the availability of blood without jeopardizing the current excellent safety profile of blood.
- Chemical Chaperones Improve Protein Secretion and Rescue Mutant Factor VIII in Mice with Hemophilia A. (2012)
- nefficient intracellular protein trafficking is a critical issue in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases and in recombinant protein production. Here we investigated the trafficking of factor VIII (FVIII), which is affected in the coagulation disorder hemophilia A. We hypothesized that chemical chaperones may be useful to enhance folding and processing of FVIII in recombinant protein production, and as a therapeutic approach in patients with impaired FVIII secretion. A tagged B-domain-deleted version of human FVIII was expressed in cultured Chinese Hamster Ovary cells to mimic the industrial production of this important protein. Of several chemical chaperones tested, the addition of betaine resulted in increased secretion of FVIII, by increasing solubility of intracellular FVIII aggregates and improving transport from endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi. Similar results were obtained in experiments monitoring recombinant full-length FVIII. Oral betaine administration also increased FVIII and factor IX (FIX) plasma levels in FVIII or FIX knockout mice following gene transfer. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo applications of betaine were also able to rescue a trafficking-defective FVIII mutant (FVIIIQ305P). We conclude that chemical chaperones such as betaine might represent a useful treatment concept for hemophilia and other diseases caused by deficient intracellular protein trafficking.