Sialic acid glycoengineering using N-acetylmannosamine and sialic acid analogs
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SourceGlycobiology, 29, 6, (2019), pp. 433-445
Article / Letter to editor
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Synthetic Organic Chemistry
SubjectRadboudumc 2: Cancer development and immune defence RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Sialic acids cap the glycans of cell surface glycoproteins and glycolipids. They are involved in a multitude of biological processes and aberrant sialic acid expression is associated with several pathologies. Sialic acids modulate the characteristics and functions of glycoproteins and regulate cell-cell as well as cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Pathogens such as influenza virus use sialic acids to infect host cells and cancer cells exploit sialic acids to escape from the host's immune system. The introduction of unnatural sialic acids with different functionalities into surface glycans enables the study of the broad biological functions of these sugars and presents a therapeutic option to intervene with pathological processes involving sialic acids. Multiple chemically modified sialic acid analogs can be directly utilized by cells for sialoglycan synthesis. Alternatively, analogs of the natural sialic acid precursor sugar N-Acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) can be introduced into the sialic acid biosynthesis pathway resulting in the intracellular conversion into the corresponding sialic acid analog. Both, ManNAc and sialic acid analogs, have been employed successfully for a large variety of glycoengineering applications such as glycan imaging, targeting toxins to tumor cells, inhibiting pathogen binding, or altering immune cell activity. However, there are significant differences between ManNAc and sialic acid analogs with respect to their chemical modification potential and cellular metabolism that should be considered in sialic acid glycoengineering experiments.
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