Special Issue "Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Barbara Mulloy

Glycosciences laboratory, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, Burlington Danes Building, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: complex glycans; sulphated polysaccharides; glycosaminoglycans; structural biology; NMR spectroscopy; molecular modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Proteoglycans (PGs) are glycoconjugates in which a protein or peptide core is substituted with polysaccharide chains known as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The GAG sidechains carry a significant proportion of the functionality of PGs, interacting with many proteins to form structural units in the extracellular matrix and to modulate the transport and signalling of small proteins acting as morphogens, growth factors and cytokines. Purified GAGs such as heparin and hyaluronan are in common use as therapeutic agents, with many more PG-based natural products, synthetic and semi-synthetic mimetics on the way; in addition, potential therapeutic strategies involving PG/GAG biosynthesis and degradation as targets are currently in development.

Potential contributors are invited to submit papers concerning PGs, GAGs or their mimetics in any pharmaceutical or related context. Particularly welcome will be studies involving whole PGs, the chondroitin sulfates, dermatan sulfate and keratan sulfate, though the mainstream areas of heparin and other sulfated polysaccharides in anticoagulation will also be represented.

I look forward to reading your submission.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Mulloy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • proteoglycan
  • glycosaminoglycan
  • heparin
  • chondroitin
  • hyauronan
  • dermatan
  • keratan

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11010027
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this editorial to MDPI Pharmaceuticals special issue “Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans” we describe in outline the common structural features of glycosaminoglycans and the characteristics of proteoglycans, including the intracellular proteoglycan, serglycin, cell-surface proteoglycans, like syndecans and glypicans, and the extracellular matrix [...] Read more.
In this editorial to MDPI Pharmaceuticals special issue “Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans” we describe in outline the common structural features of glycosaminoglycans and the characteristics of proteoglycans, including the intracellular proteoglycan, serglycin, cell-surface proteoglycans, like syndecans and glypicans, and the extracellular matrix proteoglycans, like aggrecan, perlecan, and small leucine-rich proteoglycans. The context in which the pharmaceutical uses of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans are presented in this special issue is given at the very end. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Modernization of Enoxaparin Molecular Weight Determination Using Homogeneous Standards
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10030066
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Enoxaparin is a low-molecular weight heparin used to treat thrombotic disorders. Following the fatal contamination of the heparin supply chain in 2007–2008, the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have worked extensively to modernize the unfractionated heparin and enoxaparin [...] Read more.
Enoxaparin is a low-molecular weight heparin used to treat thrombotic disorders. Following the fatal contamination of the heparin supply chain in 2007–2008, the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have worked extensively to modernize the unfractionated heparin and enoxaparin monographs. As a result, the determination of molecular weight (MW) has been added to the monograph as a measure to strengthen the quality testing and to increase the protection of the global supply of this life-saving drug. The current USP calibrant materials used for enoxaparin MW determination are composed of a mixture of oligosaccharides; however, they are difficult to reproduce as the calibrants have ill-defined structures due to the heterogeneity of the heparin parent material. To address this issue, we describe a promising approach consisting of a predictive computational model built from a library of chemoenzymatically synthesized heparin oligosaccharides for enoxaparin MW determination. Here, we demonstrate that this test can be performed with greater efficiency by coupling synthetic oligosaccharides with the power of computational modeling. Our approach is expected to improve the MW measurement for enoxaparin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Precipitation and Neutralization of Heparin from Different Sources by Protamine Sulfate
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10030059
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current therapeutic unfractionated heparin available in Europe and US is of porcine mucosal origin. There is now interest, specifically in the US, to use bovine mucosa as an additional source for the production of heparin. The anticoagulant action of heparin can be neutralized [...] Read more.
Current therapeutic unfractionated heparin available in Europe and US is of porcine mucosal origin. There is now interest, specifically in the US, to use bovine mucosa as an additional source for the production of heparin. The anticoagulant action of heparin can be neutralized by protamine sulfate, and in this study the ability of protamine to bind and neutralize the anticoagulant activities of heparin from porcine mucosa, bovine mucosa and bovine lung were assessed. Protamine sulfate was able to bind and precipitate similar amounts of heparins from different sources on a mass basis. However, differential amounts of anticoagulant activities were neutralized by protamine sulfate, with neutralization of porcine mucosa more effective than for bovine lung and bovine mucosa. For all heparins, potentiation of thrombin inhibition by antithrombin and heparin cofactor II was preferentially neutralized over antithrombin-mediated inhibition of factor Xa or plasma clotting time. Whole blood thromboelastography showed that neutralization by protamine sulfate was more effective than the antithrombin dependent thrombin inhibition assays indicated. While there was no absolute correlation between average or peak molecular weight of heparin samples and neutralization of anticoagulant activity, correlation was observed between proportions of material with high affinity to antithrombin, specific activities and neutralization of activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Glycosaminoglycan Binding and Non-Endocytic Membrane Translocation of Cell-Permeable Octaarginine Monitored by Real-Time In-Cell NMR Spectroscopy
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10020042
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are covalently-linked membrane proteins at the cell surface have recently been suggested to involve in not only endocytic cellular uptake but also non-endocytic direct cell membrane translocation of arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). However, in-situ comprehensive observation and the quantitative analysis [...] Read more.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are covalently-linked membrane proteins at the cell surface have recently been suggested to involve in not only endocytic cellular uptake but also non-endocytic direct cell membrane translocation of arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). However, in-situ comprehensive observation and the quantitative analysis of the direct membrane translocation processes are challenging, and the mechanism therefore remains still unresolved. In this work, real-time in-cell NMR spectroscopy was applied to investigate the direct membrane translocation of octaarginine (R8) into living cells. By introducing 4-trifluoromethyl-l-phenylalanine to the N terminus of R8, the non-endocytic membrane translocation of 19F-labeled R8 (19F-R8) into a human myeloid leukemia cell line was observed at 4 °C with a time resolution in the order of minutes. 19F NMR successfully detected real-time R8 translocation: the binding to anionic GAGs at the cell surface, followed by the penetration into the cell membrane, and the entry into cytosol across the membrane. The NMR concentration analysis enabled quantification of how much of R8 was staying in the respective translocation processes with time in situ. Taken together, our in-cell NMR results provide the physicochemical rationale for spontaneous penetration of CPPs in cell membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Systematic Analysis of Pharmaceutical Preparations of Chondroitin Sulfate Combined with Glucosamine
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10020038
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3651 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Glycosaminoglycans are carbohydrate-based compounds widely employed as nutraceuticals or prescribed drugs. Oral formulations of chondroitin sulfate combined with glucosamine sulfate have been increasingly used to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis. The chondroitin sulfate of these combinations can be obtained from shark [...] Read more.
Glycosaminoglycans are carbohydrate-based compounds widely employed as nutraceuticals or prescribed drugs. Oral formulations of chondroitin sulfate combined with glucosamine sulfate have been increasingly used to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis. The chondroitin sulfate of these combinations can be obtained from shark or bovine cartilages and hence presents differences regarding the proportions of 4- and 6-sulfated N-acetyl β-d-galactosamine units. Herein, we proposed a systematic protocol to assess pharmaceutical batches of this combination drug. Chemical analyses on the amounts of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine in the batches were in accordance with those declared by the manufacturers. Anion-exchange chromatography has proven more effective than electrophoresis to determine the type of chondroitin sulfate present in the combinations and to detect the presence of keratan sulfate, a common contaminant found in batches prepared with shark chondroitin sulfate. 1D NMR spectra revealed the presence of non-sulfated instead of sulfated glucosamine in the formulations and thus in disagreement with the claims declared on the label. Moreover, 1D and 2D NMR analyses allowed a precise determination on the chemical structures of the chondroitin sulfate present in the formulations. The set of analytical tools suggested here could be useful as guidelines to improve the quality of this medication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Glycosaminoglycan Derived, Selectin Targeting Anti-Adhesive Coating to Treat Endothelial Cell Dysfunction
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10020036
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction is associated with many disease states including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), chronic kidney disease, sepsis and diabetes. Loss of the glycocalyx, a thin glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-rich layer on the EC surface, is a key feature of endothelial dysfunction and increases [...] Read more.
Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction is associated with many disease states including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), chronic kidney disease, sepsis and diabetes. Loss of the glycocalyx, a thin glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-rich layer on the EC surface, is a key feature of endothelial dysfunction and increases exposure of EC adhesion molecules such as selectins, which are involved in platelet binding to ECs. Once bound, platelets cause thrombus formation and an increased inflammatory response. We have developed a GAG derived, selectin targeting anti-adhesive coating (termed EC-SEAL) consisting of a dermatan sulfate backbone and multiple selectin-binding peptides designed to bind to inflamed endothelium and prevent platelet binding to create a more quiescent endothelial state. Multiple EC-SEAL variants were evaluated and the lead variant was found to preferentially bind to selectin-expressing ECs and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and inhibit platelet binding and activation in a dose-dependent manner. In an in vivo model of DVT, treatment with the lead variant resulted in reduced thrombus formation. These results indicate that EC-SEAL has promise as a potential therapeutic in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Review

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Open AccessReview Heparin Mimetics: Their Therapeutic Potential
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10040078
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 2 October 2017
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2653 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heparin mimetics are synthetic and semi-synthetic compounds that are highly sulfated, structurally distinct analogues of glycosaminoglycans. These mimetics are often rationally designed to increase potency and binding selectivity towards specific proteins involved in disease manifestations. Some of the major therapeutic arenas towards which [...] Read more.
Heparin mimetics are synthetic and semi-synthetic compounds that are highly sulfated, structurally distinct analogues of glycosaminoglycans. These mimetics are often rationally designed to increase potency and binding selectivity towards specific proteins involved in disease manifestations. Some of the major therapeutic arenas towards which heparin mimetics are targeted include: coagulation and thrombosis, cancers, and inflammatory diseases. Although Fondaparinux, a rationally designed heparin mimetic, is now approved for prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism, the search for novel anticoagulant heparin mimetics with increased affinity and fewer side effects remains a subject of research. However, increasingly, research is focusing on the non-anticoagulant activities of these molecules. Heparin mimetics have potential as anti-cancer agents due to their ability to: (1) inhibit heparanase, an endoglycosidase which facilitates the spread of tumor cells; and (2) inhibit angiogenesis by binding to growth factors. The heparin mimetic, PI-88 is in clinical trials for post-surgical hepatocellular carcinoma and advanced melanoma. The anti-inflammatory properties of heparin mimetics have primarily been attributed to their ability to interact with: complement system proteins, selectins and chemokines; each of which function differently to facilitate inflammation. The efficacy of low/non-anticoagulant heparin mimetics in animal models of different inflammatory diseases has been demonstrated. These findings, plus clinical data that indicates heparin has anti-inflammatory activity, will raise the momentum for developing heparin mimetics as a new class of therapeutic agent for inflammatory diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Glycosaminoglycan Interactions with Chemokines Add Complexity to a Complex System
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10030070
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (2997 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemokines have two types of interactions that function cooperatively to control cell migration. Chemokine receptors on migrating cells integrate signals initiated upon chemokine binding to promote cell movement. Interactions with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) localize chemokines on and near cell surfaces and the extracellular matrix [...] Read more.
Chemokines have two types of interactions that function cooperatively to control cell migration. Chemokine receptors on migrating cells integrate signals initiated upon chemokine binding to promote cell movement. Interactions with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) localize chemokines on and near cell surfaces and the extracellular matrix to provide direction to the cell movement. The matrix of interacting chemokine–receptor partners has been known for some time, precise signaling and trafficking properties of many chemokine–receptor pairs have been characterized, and recent structural information has revealed atomic level detail on chemokine–receptor recognition and activation. However, precise knowledge of the interactions of chemokines with GAGs has lagged far behind such that a single paradigm of GAG presentation on surfaces is generally applied to all chemokines. This review summarizes accumulating evidence which suggests that there is a great deal of diversity and specificity in these interactions, that GAG interactions help fine-tune the function of chemokines, and that GAGs have other roles in chemokine biology beyond localization and surface presentation. This suggests that chemokine–GAG interactions add complexity to the already complex functions of the receptors and ligands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Glycosaminoglycans in Tissue Engineering Applications
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10020054
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High sulfation, low cost, and the status of heparin as an already FDA- and EMA- approved product, mean that its inclusion in tissue engineering (TE) strategies is becoming increasingly popular. However, the use of heparin may represent a naïve approach. This is because [...] Read more.
High sulfation, low cost, and the status of heparin as an already FDA- and EMA- approved product, mean that its inclusion in tissue engineering (TE) strategies is becoming increasingly popular. However, the use of heparin may represent a naïve approach. This is because tissue formation is a highly orchestrated process, involving the temporal expression of numerous growth factors and complex signaling networks. While heparin may enhance the retention and activity of certain growth factors under particular conditions, its binding ‘promiscuity’ means that it may also inhibit other factors that, for example, play an important role in tissue maintenance and repair. Within this review we focus on articular cartilage, highlighting the complexities and highly regulated processes that are involved in its formation, and the challenges that exist in trying to effectively engineer this tissue. Here we discuss the opportunities that glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) may provide in advancing this important area of regenerative medicine, placing emphasis on the need to move away from the common use of heparin, and instead focus research towards the utility of specific GAG preparations that are able to modulate the activity of growth factors in a more controlled and defined manner, with less off-target effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Pathogenesis and Inhibition of Flaviviruses from a Carbohydrate Perspective
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10020044
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1892 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flaviviruses are enveloped, positive single stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses with various routes of transmission. While the type and severity of symptoms caused by pathogenic flaviviruses vary from hemorrhagic fever to fetal abnormalities, their general mechanism of host cell entry is similar. All [...] Read more.
Flaviviruses are enveloped, positive single stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses with various routes of transmission. While the type and severity of symptoms caused by pathogenic flaviviruses vary from hemorrhagic fever to fetal abnormalities, their general mechanism of host cell entry is similar. All pathogenic flaviviruses, such as dengue virus, yellow fever virus, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and Zika virus, bind to glycosaminglycans (GAGs) through the putative GAG binding sites within their envelope proteins to gain access to the surface of host cells. GAGs are long, linear, anionic polysaccharides with a repeating disaccharide unit and are involved in many biological processes, such as cellular signaling, cell adhesion, and pathogenesis. Flavivirus envelope proteins are N-glycosylated surface proteins, which interact with C-type lectins, dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) through their glycans. In this review, we discuss both host and viral surface receptors that have the carbohydrate components, focusing on the surface interactions in the early stage of flavivirus entry. GAG-flavivirus envelope protein interactions as well as interactions between flavivirus envelope proteins and DC-SIGN are discussed in detail. This review also examines natural and synthetic inhibitors of flaviviruses that are carbohydrate-based or carbohydrate-targeting. Both advantages and drawbacks of these inhibitors are explored, as are potential strategies to improve their efficacy to ultimately help eradicate flavivirus infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Pathophysiological Significance of Dermatan Sulfate Proteoglycans Revealed by Human Genetic Disorders
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph10020034
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The indispensable roles of dermatan sulfate-proteoglycans (DS-PGs) have been demonstrated in various biological events including construction of the extracellular matrix and cell signaling through interactions with collagen and transforming growth factor-β, respectively. Defects in the core proteins of DS-PGs such as decorin and [...] Read more.
The indispensable roles of dermatan sulfate-proteoglycans (DS-PGs) have been demonstrated in various biological events including construction of the extracellular matrix and cell signaling through interactions with collagen and transforming growth factor-β, respectively. Defects in the core proteins of DS-PGs such as decorin and biglycan cause congenital stromal dystrophy of the cornea, spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia, and Meester-Loeys syndrome. Furthermore, mutations in human genes encoding the glycosyltransferases, epimerases, and sulfotransferases responsible for the biosynthesis of DS chains cause connective tissue disorders including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia with joint laxity characterized by skin hyperextensibility, joint hypermobility, and tissue fragility, and by severe skeletal disorders such as kyphoscoliosis, short trunk, dislocation, and joint laxity. Glycobiological approaches revealed that mutations in DS-biosynthetic enzymes cause reductions in enzymatic activities and in the amount of synthesized DS and also disrupt the formation of collagen bundles. This review focused on the growing number of glycobiological studies on recently reported genetic diseases caused by defects in the biosynthesis of DS and DS-PGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans) Printed Edition available
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