Scarring (fibrosis) resulting from injury, inflammation, and vascular problems is a major medical problem spanning diseases such as heart attack, stroke, liver cirrhosis, and wounds because scarring prevents restoration of the original tissue. CAR peptide selectively homes to, and penetrates areas of scarring and fibrosis. When conjugated to a natural inhibitor of scarring, decorin, CAR-decorin can inhibit scar formation in animal models.
CAR peptide improves the targeted activity of decorin by adding a homing signal that directs decorin to sites of injury. Generating CAR-decorin fusion proteins for targeted delivery of decorin have shown that CAR increases the in vivo efficacy and scar reducing ability of decorin at least 5-fold.
CAR enables an injury-targeted form of the well-established anti-scarring protein, decorin, for systemic therapy that reduces scarring. The innovative features of this approach is the use of a homing peptide that selectively delivers decorin to injured tissues, and a synergy between the homing peptide and decorin that results in a selective inhibition of the scar-inducing forms of TGF-β. The result is a promising new systemic anti-scarring agent.
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