Pharmacological chaperones: potential treatment for conformational diseases

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jul;15(5):222-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2004.05.003.


Increasing numbers of inherited diseases are found to result from mutations that lead to misfolded proteins. In many cases, the changes in conformation are relatively modest and the function of the protein would not be predicted to be affected. Yet, these proteins are recognized as "misfolded" and degraded prematurely. Recently, small molecules known as chemical and pharmacological chaperones were found to stabilize such mutant proteins and facilitate their trafficking to their site of action. Here, we review the recent published evidence suggesting that pharmacological chaperones represent promising avenues for the treatment of endocrine and metabolic diseases such as hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, and might become a general therapeutic strategy for the treatment of conformational diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endocrine System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism
  • Molecular Chaperones / therapeutic use*
  • Protein Folding*


  • Molecular Chaperones