Several glycoprocessing enzymes and glycoreceptors have been recognized as important targets for therapeutic intervention. This concept has inspired the development of important classes of therapeutics, such as anti-influenza drugs inhibiting influenza virus neuraminidase, anti-inflammatory drugs targeting lectin-sialyl-Lewis X interaction and glycosidase inhibitors against HIV, Gaucher’s disease, hepatitis and cancer. These therapeutics are mainly carbohydrate mimics in which proper modifications permit stronger interactions with the target protein, higher stability, better pharmacokinetic properties and easier synthesis. Furthermore, the conformational rigidity and polyfunctionality of carbohydrates stimulate their use as scaffolds for the generation of libraries by combinatorial decoration with different pharmacophores. This mini-review will present examples of how to exploit carbohydrates mimics and scaffolds in drug research.
Dr. Nasrin Shaikh, Cipolla, L., Ferla, B. L., Airoldi, C., Zona, C., and Orsato, A., “Carbohydrate Mimetics and Scaffolds: Sweet Spots in Medicinal Chemistry”, Future Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 2, pp. 587-599, 2010.