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Spectroscopic and Theoretical Approaches for the Determination of Heparin Saccharide Structure and the Study of Protein-Glycosaminoglycan Complexes in Solution

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Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as heparin and heparan sulphate, are a class of linear, anionic polysaccharides that constitute the carbohydrate component of proteoglycans. The structure of GAG complexes with proteins can reveal details of their mechanisms of action in living systems and help to design new pharmaceuticals. Molecular modelling together with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other spectroscopic techniques such as circular dichroism (CD) provide indispensable information on structure and dynamics of GAGs and their complexes. The present review focuses on applications of high-resolution NMR, CD and molecular modelling to the analysis of GAGs. The most advanced theoretical methods used at present in GAG research, density functional theory methods (DFT), are also discussed.

Keywords: GAG; NMR; circular dichroism; heparin; molecular modelling; protein-glycosaminoglycan complex; structure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, 945 38 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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