The potential of marine oligosaccharides in pharmacy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre. 2019, 18 1-4. 10.1016/j.bcdf.2019.100178
Complex polysaccharides are widespread within the animal kingdom. At the molecular level, however, the importance of such components have largely been considered inferior compared to nucleic acids and proteins. This in spite of the fact that carbohydrates are well known to govern important biological processes like cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions. There are probably several reasons for this, out of which the huge challenges of characterizing and synthesizing complex carbohydrates play an important role. Secondly, the fact that complex carbohydrates are not primary gene products but rather the result of post polymerization processes like e.g. glycosylation of proteins adds to the intricacy to the science of Glycobiology. As of today, heparin and heparin analogues for the treatment of DVT represent some of the very few examples of carbohydrate, or carbohydrate-inspired pharmaceutical products on the market. This review will address the complexity of carbohydrates, but also that due to this complexity carbohydrates exhibit a huge potential as carriers of information. Finally, some examples of pharmaceutically active oligosaccharides of marine origin will be presented.