RGTA(R) or ReGeneraTing Agents mimic heparan sulfate in regenerative medicine: from concept to curing patients
Denis Barritault, Marie Gilbert-Sirieix, Kim Lee Rice, Fernando Siñeriz, Dulce Papy-Garcia, Christophe Baudouin, Pascal Desgranges, Gilbert Zakine, Jean-Louis Saffar, Johan van Neck
The importance of extracellular matrix (ECM) integrity in maintaining normal tissue function is highlighted by numerous pathologies and situations of acute and chronic injury associated with dysregulation or destruction of ECM components. Heparan sulfate (HS) is a key component of the ECM, where it fulfils important functions associated with tissue homeostasis. Its degradation following tissue injury disrupts this delicate equilibrium and may impair the wound healing process. ReGeneraTing Agents (RGTA®s) are polysaccharides specifically designed to replace degraded HS in injured tissues. The unique properties of RGTA® (resistance to degradation, binding and protection of ECM structural and signaling proteins, like HS) permit the reconstruction of the ECM, restoring both structural and biochemical functions to this essential substrate, and facilitating the processes of tissue repair and regeneration. Here, we review 25 years of research surrounding this HS mimic, supporting the mode of action, pre-clinical studies and therapeutic efficacy of RGTA® in the clinic, and discuss the potential of RGTA® in new branches of regenerative medicine.