3 years ago

The Emergence of Phenolic Glycans as Virulence Factors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

The Emergence of Phenolic Glycans as Virulence Factors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Eoin M. Scanlan, Danielle D. Barnes, Mimmi L. E. Lundahl, Ed C. Lavelle
Tuberculosis is the leading infectious cause of mortality worldwide. The global epidemic, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has prompted renewed interest in the development of novel vaccines for disease prevention and control. The cell envelope of M. tuberculosis is decorated with an assortment of glycan structures, including glycolipids, that are involved in disease pathogenesis. Phenolic glycolipids and the structurally related para-hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives display potent immunomodulatory activities and have particular relevance for both understanding the interaction of the bacterium with the host immune system and also in the design of new vaccine and therapeutic candidates. Interest in glycobiology has grown exponentially over the past decade, with advancements paving the way for effective carbohydrate based vaccines. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of phenolic glycans, including their biosynthesis and role as virulence factors in M. tuberculosis. Recent chemical synthesis approaches and biochemical analysis of synthetic glycans and their conjugates have led to fundamental insights into their roles in host–pathogen interactions. The applications of these synthetic glycans as potential vaccine candidates are discussed.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.7b00394

DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00394

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