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Decoys Versus RAGE

I've mentioned the role of RAGE, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), in aging before. As AGEs build up, RAGE is ever more triggered, causing cells to act inappropriately. Cell receptors could be considered as keyboards or buttons - hit them with the right sort of molecules and you're instructing the cell to take action. This sort of errant instruction of cells is particularly important in age-related conditions where AGE levels are very elevated, such as diabetes, but is a damaging consequence of age-related increase in AGE levels for all of us. RAGE is "involved in a wide spectrum of diseases, including diabetes mellitus, atherothrombosis, chronic renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegeneration, cancer and aging. Circulating soluble forms of RAGE (sRAGE) [may] counteract RAGE-mediated pathogenesis by acting as a decoy. Several studies suggest that decreased levels of sRAGE [may] be useful as a biomarker of [RAGE hyperactivity] and inadequate endogenous protective response." Past work supports this sort of intervention: "administration of the ligand-binding decoy of RAGE, soluble or sRAGE, suppresses early initiation and progression of atherosclerosis in diabetic mice."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19275604

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