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Synthetic arabinan, arabinomannan glycolipids and their effects on mycobacterial growth, sliding motility and biofilm formation

The thick, waxy cell wall components of mycobacteria is composed primarily of lipoarabinomannan (LAM), mycoloylarabinogalactans (mAG), peptidoglycans, along with phosphatidylinositol anchors that integrate the cell wall components with the cell membrane. Synthetic glycolipids facilitate understanding of the cell wall components, through mimicking the naturally‐occurring LAM and mAG. In many studies, synthetic glycolipids were demonstrated to interfere with the biosynthetic construction of the cell wall components, leading to reduced levels of mycobacterial growth, as well as, activities of glycosyltransferase enzymes involved with the biosynthesis of LAM and mAG. Di‐ and trisaccharide containing glycolipids were found to act as inhibitors of mycobacterial growth and glycosyltransferases, as compared to glycolipids constituted with higher oligosaccharides. The presence of lipid portion has been found to be essential for the functions of glycolipids. A series of new experiments with synthetic glycolipids show that the glycolipids efficiently mediate rupturing biofilms of M. smegmatis, in addition to their role to reduce motilities of the growing mycobacteria. Studies demonstrate that synthetic glycolipids offer a potential in the search for newer inhibitors, based on cell wall components. This review provides a summary of important developments on synthetic glycolipids as agents to reduce mycobacterial growth, their motilities and biofilm formation.

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Print publication date
18 Jun 2013
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From the book series:
SPR - Carbohydrate Chemistry