Mechanism of multivalent glycoconjugate-lectin interaction: An update

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Department of Chemistry; Health Research Institute


Lectins are predominantly oligomeric proteins with several binding sites per molecule. Glycoconjugates are their natural ligands, which often possess multiple binding epitopes. Thus, lectin-glycoconjugate interactions are mostly multivalent in nature. The mechanism of multivalent binding is fundamentally different from those described for monovalent interactions in textbooks and research papers. Over the years, binding studies that make use of different lectins and a variety of multivalent glycoconjugate ligands were conducted in order to understand the underlying principles of multivalency. Starting with seemingly simple synthetic multivalent analogs, systematic studies were carried out using natural glycoconjugate ligands with increasing valency and complexity. Those ligands included multivalent glycoproteins, polyvalent polysaccharides, including glycosaminoglycans, as well as supra-valent mucins and proteoglycans. Models and mechanisms of multivalent binding derived from quantitative data are summarized in the present updated review.

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Advances in carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry