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Glycosyltransferase inhibitors: a promising strategy to pave a path from laboratory to therapy

Abnormal glycosylation is a common feature in disease that typically results from misregulation in expression and/or activity of glycosyltransferases (GTs) and glycosidases. Interfering with these enzymes, by developing a prospect of targeted inhibitors, has opened newer avenues to meet the challenge of abnormal glycosylation. Progress in GT inhibitors has been relatively slower in comparison to glycosidases. In case of GTs, their polyspecific nature, structural homology, overlapping specificities, multi-substrate catalytic mechanism and relatively less available 3D-structural data stance a big challenge to explore the whole potential of GT target inhibitors in comparison to glycosidases for therapeutic purposes. In this review, we focus on GT specific inhibitors, which are organised as conventional donor analogues (viz. donor, acceptor and transition state mimetic), glycomimetic, alternative inhibitor chemotype and metabolic chain terminator. Conventional donor analogues are however limited by the poor membrane permeability and chemical instability. Thus, in the last two decades, alternative inhibitor chemotypes caught attention as a promising lead, which are not structurally derived from GT substrates and possess drug like properties offering an alternate non-substrate like inhibitor based strategy for drug development. Although successful cellular GT-targeted molecules are yet to be achieved, recent designing of metabolic inhibitors i.e., dead end substrates are emerging as an impetus to explore the potential of GT families as therapeutic targets.

Publication details

Print publication date
13 Dec 2017
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
SPR - Carbohydrate Chemistry