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scientific articles

Treating sickle cell disease by targeting HbS polymerization

key information

source: Blood

year: 2017

authors: Eaton WA, Bunn HF


Although the root cause of sickle cell disease is the polymerization of hemoglobin S (HbS) to form fibers that make red cells less flexible, most drugs currently being assessed in clinical trials are targeting the downstream sequelae of this primary event. Less attention has been devoted to investigation of the multiple ways in which fiber formation can be inhibited. In this article, we describe the molecular rationale for 5 distinct approaches to inhibiting polymerization and also discuss progress with the few antipolymerization drugs currently in clinical trials.

organization: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Harvard Medical School, Boston

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2017-02-765891

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