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Biomed Pharmacother. 2003 Jul-Aug;57(5-6):240-5.

Pharmacological properties of fucose. Applications in age-related modifications of connective tissues.

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Laboratoire Universitaire de Recherche en Ophtalmologie, Faculté de Médecine Broussais-Hôtel Dieu, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), 1, place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, 75181 Paris cedex 4, France.


Fucose is the only component of glycoconjugates of vertebrates in the L-configuration. It exhibits a number of unique and interesting biological properties reviewed briefly in this article. Its constant end-standing position on glycan chains predisposes fucose to play a key role in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, mediated by several receptors such as those recognising the Lewis-type blood group substances, fucose-recognising lectines and the mannose-fucose receptors. Some of the as yet unstudied or less well understood properties of L-fucose were explored in the present study, as its non-enzymatic interaction with amine-groups on macromolecules, its cellular uptake attributed to specific transport mechanisms and its effect on fibroblast cell cultures. We could document the stimulation of cell-proliferation and the inhibition of MMP-expression and activation, both for MMP-2 and MMP-9. These and the other shortly reviewed properties of L-fucose may play an important role in its biological applications and actions.

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