Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an inducible enzyme that degrades heme to carbon monoxide (CO) and which expression is controlled by the transcription factor Nrf2, is an essential protective system against oxidative stress and inflammation. Developing strategies that target or mimic the Nrf2/HO-1/CO axis may offer new therapeutic avenues in the treatment of a variety of diseases. Our technology consists of a novel class of anti-inflammatory hybrid compounds termed HYCOs that are able to activate Nrf2/HO-1 and simultaneously liberate CO in vitro and in vivo. HYCOs have shown significant anti-inflammatory effects in different cell types (macrophages, monocytes, keratinocytes, microglia) and efficacy in pre-clinical models of psoriasis, endotoxin-induced inflammation as well as multiple sclerosis.
Nrf2 - CO-releasing molecules (CO-RMs) - Small molecules - Anti-inflammatory - Cardiovascular - Psoriasis - Multiple Sclerosis