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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 11, pp. 2479-2498

Published online 2012-10-05

Carbohydrate biomarker recognition using synthetic lectin mimics

Chaofeng Dai, Arpana Sagwal, Yunfeng Cheng, Hanjing Peng, Weixuan Chen and Binghe Wang*

Department of Chemistry, Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302‑4098, USA

Abstract: Carbohydrate biomarkers play very important roles in a wide range of biological and pathological processes. Compounds that can specifically recognize a carbohydrate biomarker are useful for targeted delivery of imaging agents and for development of new diagnostics. Furthermore, such compounds could also be candidates for the development of therapeutic agents. A tremendous amount of active work on synthetic lectin mimics has been reported in recent years. Amongst all the synthetic lectins, boronic-acid-based lectins (boronolectins) have shown great promise. Along this line, four classes of boronolectins including peptide-, nucleic-acid-, polymer-, and small-molecule-based ones are discussed with a focus on the design principles and recent advances. We hope that by presenting the potentials of this field, this review will stimulate more research in this area.