Issue 10, 2019

Glycans in drug discovery


Glycans are key players in many biological processes. They are essential for protein folding and stability and act as recognition elements in cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions. Thus, being at the heart of medically relevant biological processes, glycans have come onto the scene and are considered hot spots for biomedical intervention. The progress in biophysical techniques allowing access to an increasing molecular and structural understanding of these processes has led to the development of effective therapeutics. Indeed, strategies aimed at designing glycomimetics able to block specific lectin–carbohydrate interactions, carbohydrate-based vaccines mimicking self- and non-self-antigens as well as the exploitation of the therapeutic potential of glycosylated antibodies are being pursued. In this mini-review the most prominent contributions concerning recurrent diseases are highlighted, including bacterial and viral infections, cancer or immune-related pathologies, which certainly show the great promise of carbohydrates in drug discovery.

Graphical abstract: Glycans in drug discovery

Article information

Article type
Review Article
24 May 2019
10 Jul 2019
First published
26 Jul 2019
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY-NC license

Med. Chem. Commun., 2019,10, 1678-1691

Glycans in drug discovery

P. Valverde, A. Ardá, N. Reichardt, J. Jiménez-Barbero and A. Gimeno, Med. Chem. Commun., 2019, 10, 1678 DOI: 10.1039/C9MD00292H

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