Molecular decoys: antidotes, therapeutics and immunomodulators
Receptor–ligand interactions are fundamental to the regulation of cell physiology, enabling the communication between cells and their environment via signal transduction. Receptors are also exploited by toxins and infectious agents to mediate pathogenesis. Over the past 20 years, however, this bi-partite paradigm for cellular regulation, that is, receptors and their ligands, has been revised to include an unforeseen participant namely, soluble receptors or molecular decoys. Decoys function as nature's modifiers of potent responses such as inflammation, stimulation of cell proliferation and triggering apoptosis. Decoys not only provide the means to fine tune the regulation of these phenomena; they also serve as potential leads for the development of recombinant anti-toxins, anti-viral agents and novel therapeutics for combating cancer and inflammatory disease.
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 19, Issue 6, December 2008, Pages 644–651