Site-specifically deuterated essential lipids
Site-specifically deuterated essential lipids as new drugs against neuronal, retinal and vascular degeneration
An original approach to drug discovery and development is now in clinical and preclinical trials. The approach is based on the ‘kinetic isotope effect’ (i.e., the effect of isotopic substitution on chemical reaction rates). By replacing selective hydrogen atoms with deuterium in essential and conditionally essential lipids, a novel class of potent drugs is being created that prevents cellular and vascular oxidative damage causing diverse pathologies, such as neurodegeneration, atherosclerosis and macular degeneration. This review describes the molecular mechanisms underlying the new treatment modalities in these diseases and the encouraging results of ongoing studies for candidate drugs. Also, the possible extension of this new drug platform to treatment of nonoxidative diseases by deuterium- reinforced amino acids and nucleobases is briefly discussed.