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The Importance of Carbohydrate Synthesized Drugs The Importance of Carbohydrate Synthesized Drugs

The Importance of Carbohydrate Synthesized Drugs

January 4, 2021
The Importance of Carbohydrate Synthesized Drugs

There is an emerging trend in carbohydrates derivative drugs for therapeutic use. Naturally, Carbohydrate is broken down in the body to produce energy for various biological activities. Carbohydrates can be segmented into monosaccharides, polysaccharides, complex pentasaccharides, nucleosides, nucleotides, glycopeptides, iminosugars, carbocyclic sugars and thioglycosides thiosugars.

Carbohydrate-protein reactions play an important role in the cell adhesion, signal transduction, pathogen recognition, inflammation, and stabilization of a protein. These functions can be artificially manipulated and such manipulation paves the way for carbohydrate synthesized drugs. Carbohydrate-protein binding/adhesion is of two types’ carbohydrate-lectin and carbohydrate-antibody binding. These binding functions can be manipulated for a potential drug discovery. Glyco Array technology can be helpful in identifying carbohydrate-binding sites.

Recent advances in the laboratory synthesis of carbohydrates make it possible to produce complex, pure, and structurally defined carbohydrate for drug discovery and development.

Carbohydrate synthesized drugs for various therapeutics uses

Anti-cancer – Synthetic carbohydrates based tumor-specific carbohydrate antigens (TACAs) are designed to trigger the natural response of the immune system. These antigens are identified as cancer antigens. Based on the TACAs the immune system develops specific immunity required for the future, and such TACAs can be used to produce potential vaccines.

Anti-bacterial – As there is a rise in antibiotic resistance, new approaches are needed to address it. Advanced development in glycol-chemistry and glycol-biology have shown promising results for synthetic carbohydrate vaccines. Carbohydrates may bind with the bacterium and engulf it, thus killing it.

Anti-inflammatory - Certain carbohydrates can be synthetically produced to block the inflammation producing agents such as dextran. These compounds might be able to block the inflammation receptors to reduce the inflammation in the body.

Anti-thrombotic – Carbohydrates are also seen as a new generation of thrombotic drugs. One example is glycosaminoglycan (GAG) polysaccharides, which can help reduce coagulation at the inflamed site and thus help reduce the activity of thrombin.


  • Carbohydrate Synthesized Drugs

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