The Molecular Recognition of Saccharides and Glycoprotein-Inspired Materials

  • L. L. Kiessling
Part of the Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop book series (SCHERING FOUND, volume 26)

Abstract

Studies of biological molecular recognition events have primarily focused on high affinity recognition processes. Our research program focuses instead on a class of apparent weak interactions that play significant roles in biology, those that occur when proteins bind to extracellular carbohydrates. Such protein-carbohydrate interactions are essential participants in many physiological cell-cell recognition processes, including fertilization, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, and the inflammatory response (Dwek 1996; Feizi 1993; Gabius 1997; Lis and Sharon 1998; Varki 1993). Consistent with their roles in fundamental biological processes, saccharides display many functional groups on diverse scaffolds. Indeed, oligosaccharides can display a diversity of structure that far exceeds that of proteins and nucleic acids (Laine 1994). Even with this potential for conveying structural information, monovalent protein-carbohydrate interactions often occur not only with low affinity (i.e., Ka ≈ 103–4 M-1) (Elgavish and Shaanan 1997; Glaudemans 1991; Lee and Lee 1995; Lis and Sharon 1998; Quiocho et al. 1989; Weis and Drickamer 1996) but also with broad specificity. We have begun to address key questions in this area: How do low affinity protein — saccharide interactions mediate specific molecular recognition events? What advantages do these interactions confer in a biological setting?

Keywords

Entropy Saccharide Influenza Oligomer Alkene 

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • L. L. Kiessling

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