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Special Issue "Glycosaminoglycans and Glycomimetics"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioorganic Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Fuming Zhang

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180
Website | E-Mail
Interests: carbohydrates, heparin
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert J. Linhardt

Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Biology and Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Biotech. Center 4005 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 518 276 3405
Interests: chemoenzymatic synthesis of acidic oligosaccharides; samarium-catalyzed carbon glycoside synthesis; synthesis of UDP-sugars; synthesis of nanomaterial-carbohydrate conjugates
Guest Editor
Prof. Lianchun Wang

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: angiogenesis; stem cell biology; hemostasis; Leukocyte trafficking and inflammation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) have been found to play numerous important roles in a broad range of physiological and pathological processes including blood coagulation, cell growth and differentiation, host defense, viral infection, lipid transport and metabolism, cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix signaling, inflammation, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. In recent years, the research in GAGs and glycomimetics has been undergoing rapid progress because of the advances in glycan structural analysis, synthesis and genetic manipulation.  More and more potential clinical applications of GAGs and glycomimetics have been discovered for the treatment of a wide range of diseases. In this Special Issue on “Glycosaminoglycans and Glycomimetics”, we present the latest research and updated reviews related to these ubiquitous biomolecules of fundamental importance.

Prof. Fuming Zhang
Prof. Robert J. Linhardt
Prof. Lianchun Wang
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 semimonthly 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.


  • glycosaminoglycans
  • glycomimetics
  • glycan synthesis
  • heparin
  • heparan sulfate
  • chondroitin sulfate
  • cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • infectious diseases
  • biomaterials
  • tissue engineering

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Soluble Heparin and Heparan Sulfate Glycosaminoglycans Interfere with Sonic Hedgehog Solubilization and Receptor Binding
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081607
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
PDF Full-text (2316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling plays a tumor-promoting role in many epithelial cancers. Cancer cells produce soluble a Shh that signals to distant stromal cells that express the receptor Patched (Ptc). These receiving cells respond by producing other soluble factors that promote cancer cell [...] Read more.
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling plays a tumor-promoting role in many epithelial cancers. Cancer cells produce soluble a Shh that signals to distant stromal cells that express the receptor Patched (Ptc). These receiving cells respond by producing other soluble factors that promote cancer cell growth, generating a positive feedback loop. To interfere with reinforced Shh signaling, we examined the potential of defined heparin and heparan sulfate (HS) polysaccharides to block Shh solubilization and Ptc receptor binding. We confirm in vitro and in vivo that proteolytic cleavage of the N-terminal Cardin–Weintraub (CW) amino acid motif is a prerequisite for Shh solubilization and function. Consistent with the established binding of soluble heparin or HS to the Shh CW target motif, both polysaccharides impaired proteolytic Shh processing and release from source cells. We also show that HS and heparin bind to, and block, another set of basic amino acids required for unimpaired Shh binding to Ptc receptors on receiving cells. Both modes of Shh activity downregulation depend more on HS size and overall charge than on specific HS sulfation modifications. We conclude that heparin oligosaccharide interference in the physiological roles of HS in Shh release and reception may be used to expand the field of investigation to pharmaceutical intervention of tumor-promoting Shh functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Glycomimetics)

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