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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Sulfated Non-Saccharide Glycosaminoglycan Mimetics as Novel Drug Discovery Platform for Various Pathologies

Author(s): Daniel K. Afosah and Rami A. Al-Horani*

Volume 27 , Issue 21 , 2020

Page: [3412 - 3447] Pages: 36

DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666181120101147

Price: $65


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are very complex, natural anionic polysaccharides. They are polymers of repeating disaccharide units of uronic acid and hexosamine residues. Owing to their template-free, spatiotemporally-controlled, and enzyme-mediated biosyntheses, GAGs possess enormous polydispersity, heterogeneity, and structural diversity which often translate into multiple biological roles. It is well documented that GAGs contribute to physiological and pathological processes by binding to proteins including serine proteases, serpins, chemokines, growth factors, and microbial proteins. Despite advances in the GAG field, the GAG-protein interface remains largely unexploited by drug discovery programs. Thus, Non-Saccharide Glycosaminoglycan Mimetics (NSGMs) have been rationally developed as a novel class of sulfated molecules that modulate GAG-protein interface to promote various biological outcomes of substantial benefit to human health. In this review, we describe the chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological aspects of recently reported NSGMs and highlight their therapeutic potentials as structurally and mechanistically novel anti-coagulants, anti-cancer agents, anti-emphysema agents, and anti-viral agents. We also describe the challenges that complicate their advancement and describe ongoing efforts to overcome these challenges with the aim of advancing the novel platform of NSGMs to clinical use.

Keywords: Glycosaminoglycans, sulfated molecules, non-saccharide glycosaminoglycan mimetics, anticoagulants, anticancer, antivirals.

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