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Developments in the Chemical Synthesis of Heparin and Heparan Sulfate

Pongener, Imlirenla; O'Shea, Conor; Wootton, Hannah; Watkinson, Michael; Miller, Gavin J.

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Imlirenla Pongener

Conor O'Shea

Hannah Wootton

Michael Watkinson


Heparin and heparan sulfate represent key members of the glycosaminoglycan family of carbohydrates and underpin considerable repertoires of biological importance. As such, their efficiency of synthesis represents a key requirement, to further understand and exploit the H/HS structure-to-biological function axis. In this review we focus on chemical approaches to and methodology improvements for the synthesis of these essential sugars (from 2015 onwards). We first consider advances in accessing the heparin-derived pentasaccharide anticoagulant fondaparinux. This is followed by heparan sulfate targets, including key building block synthesis, oligosaccharide construction and chemical sulfation techniques. We end with a consideration of technological improvements to traditional, solution-phase synthesis approaches that are increasingly being utilised.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Sep 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 15, 2021
Publication Date 2021-11
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal The Chemical Record
Print ISSN 1527-8999
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 11
Pages 3238-3255
Keywords Materials Chemistry, General Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, General Chemistry
Publisher URL


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