Over the past two decades it has emerged that, in addition to erythropoietic activity, erythropoietin (EPO) has numerous other functions, including neuro-protective, anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, angiogenetic and immunomodulatory ones. EPO interacts with two different forms of its receptor (EPOR): a homodimer receptor, responsible for the erythropoietic effects, and a heterodimer receptor, responsible for the non-erythropoietic effects. The effects on the heterodimer receptor are responsible for EPO-induced prolongation of organ transplant survival in mice and humans.
The development of new molecules that selectively target the heterodimer EPOR is allowing to test the effect of long-term treatments, without the possible complications related to the increased hematocrit.
Keywords: erythropoietin, EPO, ARA290, EPOR