Research Topic

Carbohydrate-Based Molecules in Medicinal Chemistry

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About this Research Topic

Carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing molecules, such as glycoconjugates and nucleotides, play important roles in crucial biological events which are ubiquitous in health as well as in the progress of various diseases. Carbohydrate-based compounds, including natural and synthetic derivatives, that may ...

Carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing molecules, such as glycoconjugates and nucleotides, play important roles in crucial biological events which are ubiquitous in health as well as in the progress of various diseases. Carbohydrate-based compounds, including natural and synthetic derivatives, that may interfere with these processes have shown their therapeutic potential against infection, cancer, or diabetes, with some molecules having reached clinical application. Pathogen-host cell adhesion, which are mediated by carbohydrate-protein interactions, abnormal cell surface glycosylation, which is often associated with cancer or modified immune responses, or altered carbohydrate processing, which is common in metabolic disorders such as diabetes, are among the events that have been targeted by these groups of molecules. The inhibition of biosynthetic pathways towards carbohydrate-based structures of bacterial cell or virus envelopes or towards nucleotides/nucleic acids also constitute promising therapeutic strategies that have been exploited in the development of bioactive carbohydrate-based compounds. Other potential pharmacological applications, such as in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as innovative mechanisms of action to tackle drug resistance, have been discovered for these groups of compounds, encouraging the development of novel types of structures. The growing importance of carbohydrate-based therapeutics and bioactive substances in medicinal chemistry continues to stimulate the research in this topic and is the impetus for this Research Topic.

This Research Topic aims at presenting contributions demonstrating the relevance and broad application of carbohydrate-based molecules in medicinal chemistry. Research findings within the discovery and development of bioactive compounds, covering chemical synthesis, planning of novel molecules, isolation, analysis, biological evaluation, studies on the mechanisms of action, are welcome to give an outlook of the landscape of structures and bioactivity/therapeutic profile of these groups of compounds, highlighting recent advances and current challenges.

This Research Topic focuses on carbohydrate-containing molecules for medicinal chemistry applications, including newly synthetic and natural compounds with potential significance as therapeutic agents. Original research articles, reviews, mini reviews and perspectives are welcome.

We encourage contributions on the following topics (but not restricted to):
• Synthesis of carbohydrate-containing molecules of (potential) therapeutic interest
• Naturally occurring bioactive carbohydrate-containing compounds
• Glycomimetics
• Nucleoside and nucleotide analogs
• Multivalent carbohydrate derivatives and glycoconjugates
• Carbohydrate-based molecules in cancer immunotherapy
• Targeting carbohydrate-acting enzymes as therapeutic approach
• Focusing abnormal glycosylation for the development of therapeutic and diagnostic approaches
• Carbohydrate-containing antibiotics
• Molecular basis of carbohydrate action


Keywords: carbohydrate-based therapeutics, glycomimetics, glycoconjugates, glycosylation in disease, carbohydrate-processing enzymes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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