2021 Volume 33 Issue 194 Pages E91-E97
Multivalent ligands with a regular arrangement of carbohydrates, such as natural glycoproteins, glycopeptides, and branched oligosaccharides, play an important role as in vivo molecular recognition elements for lectins. In recent years, attempts have been actively made to develop functional glyco-materials, such as cell culture substrates and virus adsorbents, by artificially imitating and reproducing the molecular recognition ability of natural multivalent glycans. Multivalent lectins with two or more sugar-binding sites bind to multivalent ligands in a structure-specific manner and are thereby crosslinked to form an aggregate. Although this cross-linking reaction is a universal phenomenon, many unclear points remain in the series of mechanisms involved in the formation of cross-linked lectin complexes. Furthermore, multivalent lectins are also present on the surface of pathogenic bacteria and pathogenic viruses, and may be used as molecular targets in the development of toxin protein neutralizers and antiviral agents. To address these issues, middle-molecular-weight glycoclusters with a well-defined structure and a controlled number of sugar chain clusters have been designed and synthesized as potential cross-linking agents for multivalent lectins. This review provides an overview of the synthesis and utilization of middle-molecular-weight glycoclusters.