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Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Vol. 207, No: xx, 2012, Pages: 423 - 49

Heparin-like Entities from Marine Organisms

Colliec-Jouault S, Bavington C, Delbarre-Ladrat C

Laboratoire de Biotechnologie et Molécules Marines, Ifremer, Rue de l'Ile d'Yeu, 21105, 44311, Nantes Cedex 3, France.


Polysaccharides are ubiquitous in animals and plant cells where they play a significant role in a number of physiological situations e.g. hydration, mechanical properties of cell walls and ionic regulation. This review concentrates on heparin-like entities from marine procaryotes and eukaryotes. Carbohydrates from marine prokaryotes offer a significant structural chemodiversity with novel material and biological properties. Cyanobacteria are Gram-negative photosynthetic prokaryotes considered as a rich source of novel molecules, and marine bacteria are a rich source of polysaccharides with novel structures, which may be a good starting point from which to synthesise heparinoid molecules. For example, some sulphated polysaccharides have been isolated from gamma-proteobacteria such as Alteromonas and Pseudoalteromonas sp. In contrast to marine bacteria, all marine algae contain sulphated wall polysaccharides, whereas such polymers are not found in terrestrial plants. In their native form, or after chemical modifications, a range of polysaccharides isolated from marine organisms have been described that have anticoagulant, anti-thrombotic, anti-tumour, anti-proliferative, anti-viral or anti-inflammatory activities.In spite of the enormous potential of sulphated oligosaccharides from marine sources, their technical and pharmaceutical usage is still limited because of the high complexity of these molecules. Thus, the production of tailor-made oligo- and polysaccharidic structures by biocatalysis is also a growing field of interest in biotechnology.

Keywords:Polysaccharides are ubiquitous in animals and plant cells,marine procaryotes and eukaryotes,marine bacteria.


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