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Glycoconjugates: Roles in Neural Diseases Caused by Exogenous Pathogens

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Numerous reports indicate that lipid or protein associated carbohydrates are essential for infection of cells by various viruses, bacteria, or bacterial toxins, some of which affect the nervous system. Examples of such pathogens include tetanus and botulinum neurotoxin, Shiga and Shiga-like toxins, Borrelia burgdorferi, Mycobacterium leprae, and human immunodeficiency virus. This review discusses evidence indicating that carbohydrates are essential for these pathogens to induce their deleterious effects, the putative function of the carbohydrates, and how this knowledge might be used to combat the effects of the pathogen.

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Keywords: Botulinum toxin; HIV; Lyme disease; carbohydrate antigens; glycosphingolipids; leprosy; multivalent carbohydrate ligands; tetanus toxin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 500 University Dr., Hershey, PA 17033, USA.

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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