Heparin Building Blocks Go Upscale | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 52 | p. 17 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 24, 2012

Heparin Building Blocks Go Upscale

Access to gram amounts of modular sugar units eases synthesis of important cell-signaling oligosaccharides
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Organic SCENE
Keywords: heparin, heparan sulfate, glycosaminoglycan, oligosaccharide, carbohydrates

Chemists have devised a synthetic process to make gram-scale amounts of heparin-related oligosaccharides, a development with potential to improve the quality and safety of blood thinners and make available other heparin oligosaccharide medicines. Heparin and heparan sulfate are a family of glycosaminoglycans that play a role in regulating blood-vessel growth, blood coagulation, and the spread of cancer tumors. The clinically used drugs are short-chain oligosaccharides currently isolated from slaughtered pigs and cattle, but chemists would . . .

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