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How glycobiology can help us treat and beat the COVID-19 pandemic

Lardone and at. JBC 2021

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerge during the last months of 2019, expanding throughout the world as a highly transmissible infectious illness designated as COVID-19. Vaccines have now appeared, but the challenges in producing sufficient material and distributing them around the world means that effective treatments to limit infection and improve recovery are still urgently needed. This review is focused on the relevance of different glycobiological molecules that could potentially serve as or inspire therapeutic tools during SARS-CoV-2 infection. As such, we highlight the glycobiology of the SARS-CoV-2 infection process, where glycans on viral proteins and on host glycosaminoglycans have critical roles in efficient infection. We also take notice of the glycan-binding proteins involved in the infective capacity of virus and in human defense. In addition, we critically evaluate the glycobiological contribution of candidate drugs for COVID-19 therapy such as glycans for vaccines, anti-glycan antibodies, recombinant lectins, lectin inhibitors, glycosidase inhibitors, polysaccharides, and numerous glycosides, emphasizing some opportunities to repurpose FDA-approved drugs. For the next generation drugs suggested here, biotechnological engineering making new probes to block the SARS-CoV-2 infection might be based in the essential glycobiological insight on glycosyltransferases, glycans, glycan-binding proteins and glycosidases related to this pathology.

Authors: Lardone RD, YC Garay, Parody P, Sources, Angeloni G, Bravo IT, Schmider AK, Irazoqui FJ

Article: How glycobiology can help us treat and beat the COVID-19 pandemic.Lardone RD, YC Garay, Parody P, Sources, Angeloni G, Bravo IT, Schmider AK, Irazoqui FJ. J Biol Chem. 2021 Feb 3:100375. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100375