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Glycobiology. 2009 Jan;19(1):2-15. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwn092. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Focus on antivirally active sulfated polysaccharides: from structure-activity analysis to clinical evaluation.

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Department of Chemistry, Natural Products Laboratory, University of Burdwan, WB 713 104, India.


In recent years, many compounds having potent antiviral activity in cell culture have been detected and some of these compounds are currently undergoing either preclinical or clinical evaluation. Among these antiviral substances, naturally occurring sulfated polysaccharides and those from synthetic origin are noteworthy. Recently, several controversies over the molecular structures of sulfated polysaccharides, viral glycoproteins, and cell-surface receptors have been resolved, and many aspects of their antiviral activity have been elucidated. It has become clear that the antiviral properties of sulfated polysaccharides are not only a simple function of their charge density and chain length but also their detailed structural features. The in vivo efficacy of these compounds mostly corresponds to their ability to inhibit the attachment of the virion to the host cell surface although in some cases virucidal activity plays an additional role. This review summarizes experimental evidence indicating that sulfated polysaccharides might become increasingly important in drug development for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases in the near future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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