Glycosylated Ligands

Carbohydrates (glycans) are found on the majority of cell surface and circulatory proteins and are also conjugated to cell surface lipids where they are involved in a host of processes including cell recognition, cell adhesion, fertilization and immune function.

Exploiting lectin/carbohydrate-mediated drug delivery through use of glycobiology may offer a means of addressing the specific challenge of delivering and targeting difficult therapeutic molecules. The idea of using lectin-carbohydrate interactions to mediate cell targeting and cellular uptake of molecules in general has been under intense investigation. There is potential for carbohydrate ligands to specifically introduce and activate therapeutic macromolecules into diseased cells in a manner that allows for specific and controlled modulation of protein production. Cell-specific delivery of therapeutic agents via carbohydrate ligand targeting has gained interest due to its potential for increased efficacy and reduced side effects.

Sussex Research is the leading commercial source of synthetic, well-defined carbohydrate ligands. These are multi-purpose, functionalized products that enable researchers to modify macromolecules, surfaces and nanoparticles with carbohydrates via simple polyethylene glycol (PEG) or alkyl linker/spacer systems. In contrast to alkyl, PEG linkers are amphiphilic which reduces linker hydrophobic interactions with macromolecules and surfaces.

 Custom Synthesis: The number and variety of applications for carbohydrates in modern research and development is staggering. Sussex Research is highly active in the custom and contract synthesis of carbohydrate systems for specific research, drug and vaccine development projects. You pick the glycan, the linker system and the functional group, and we’ll make it happen.