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Special Issue "Heparan Sulfate and Heparin: Challenges and Controversies"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Marco Guerrini

Istituto di Ricerche Chimiche e Biochimiche G. Ronzoni, Milan, Italy
Interests: heparin analysis; glycosaminoglycan-protein interactions; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Guest Editor
Dr. Edwin Alexander Yates

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: glycosaminoglycan structure and function; spectroscopy of carbohydrate-protein interactions; microbial interactions involving carbohydrates

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this Special Issue of Molecules is to collect contributions from leading researchers in academia and industry that address, in particular, controversial or challenging problems in this field of research. We emphasize that we would like to encourage you to tackle difficult issues head-on, identifying what you see as the major challenges. We would also welcome your opinions and speculations regarding controversies within the field.

Given your significant contributions, we thought that you would be an ideal author to address such questions. We hope that you will be willing to contribute to this volume, the aim of which is to provide stimulation to other researchers and, ultimately, to help generate new ideas and approaches.

Dr. Marco Guerrini
Dr. Edwin Alexander Yates
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • heparin 
  • heparan sulfate 
  • biological activity
  • biosynthesis 
  • interactions 
  • structure-function 
  • applications

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview Low-Molecular-Weight Heparins: Reduced Size Particulate Systems for Improved Therapeutic Outcomes
Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1757; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071757
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
A wide range of diseases have been treated using low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), the drug of choice for anticoagulation. Owing to their better pharmacokinetic features compared to those of unfractionated heparin (uFH), several systems incorporating LMWHs have been investigated to deliver and improve their
[...] Read more.
A wide range of diseases have been treated using low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), the drug of choice for anticoagulation. Owing to their better pharmacokinetic features compared to those of unfractionated heparin (uFH), several systems incorporating LMWHs have been investigated to deliver and improve their therapeutic outcomes, especially through development of their micro- and nano-particles. This review article describes current perspectives on the fabrication, characterization, and application of LMWHs-loaded micro- and nano-particles to achieve ameliorated bioavailability. The valuable applications of LMWH will continue to encourage researchers to identify efficient delivery systems that have specific release characteristics and ameliorated bioavailability, overcoming the challenges presented by biological obstructions and the physicochemical properties of LMWHs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heparan Sulfate and Heparin: Challenges and Controversies)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of the paper: Review

Tentative title: HS mimetics in cancer therapy: the challenge to define structural determinants and relevance of targets for optimal activity

Authors: Cinzia Lanzi and Giuliana Cassinelli
Affiliations: Dept Applied Research & Technological Development Molecular Pharmacology Unit Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori via Amadeo, 42 - 20133 Milan - Italy

Type of the paper: Mini-review
Tentative title: Role of heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) in the development of metabolic diseases
Authors: Seonwook Kim (1), Ryan Temel (1,2), Venkat Subramanian (3), Sangderk Lee (1,2)
Affiliations: Saha Cardiovascular Research Center; Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536.
Abstract: About three decades ago, Higashiya ma et al. first identified HB-EGF as the primary protein that binds to the heparin column in the macrophage cell supernatant about three decades ago. Since then, a list of new features of the growth factor has emerged. Heparin interaction critically regulates the signaling of the growth factors.  HB-EGF is a crucial regulator of cell growth for certain types of cancer cells, and it also regulates vascular pathophysiology associated with metabolism and angiotensin II signaling. As a unique feature of the protein, HB-EGF is a representative mediator for the EGFR transactivation under various oxidative stresses associated with insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. More results convincingly indicate that the HB-EGF is involved in the etiology of various metabolic diseases including obesity,  metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Multiple reports showed protective effects of the HB-EGF targeting against the development and advancement of metabolic diseases. In this review, we focus on the role of heparin interaction with the HB-EGF in the regulation of metabolic phenotypes with the potential usefulness of the therapeutic application of the HB-EGF targeting to prevent or reverse metabolic disease.  
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