Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d'Orsay

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Méthodologie, Synthèse et Molécules Thérapeutiques

Glycosaminoglycans and Molecular Diversity

We develop new methodologies in organic synthesis as key steps to prepare new chemical-biology tools designed to understand, at the molecular level, biological processes involving carbohydrates. Our expertise in glycochemistry, including chemical and chemoenzymatic oligosaccharide synthesis, (bio)orthogonal conjugation strategies and supramolecular chemistry gives a unique edge to our research and a solid base to our ambition to bring innovative solution for human health.
We concentrate on Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), especially Heparan Sulfate (HS), which are linear and sulfated polysaccharides able to modulate the activities of more than 500 extracellular proteins, including established therapeutic targets. Behaving like a hand needed by Heparan Sulfate Binding Proteins (HSBP) to reach their lock, HS chains are nowadays recognized as crucial additional partners in the "Lock and key" paradigm.


A tightly regulated biosynthesis allows generating several levels of molecular diversity and encoding protein-specific sequences depending on cell type or activation. Disrupting such selective interactions represents a promising field that could advantageously complement current therapies and that is thoroughly explored by our group, with an emphasis on HIV gp120 and cytokines and chemokines involved in immune and inflammatory diseases and cancers.



Towards this goal we develop new methodologies in organic chemistry and integrate different chemical biology approaches into a global toolbox, whose aim is to allow the rational design and systematic optimization of glycoligands able to disrupt a physiologically relevant interaction between a protein of therapeutic interest and HS chains.

The projects developed in the Glycosaminoglycans and Molecular Diversity group are deeply interwined and benefit from our recognized expertise to integrate into coherent and coordinated approaches:
•New strategies to address GAGs molecular diversity for therapeutic applications
•GAGs biosynthetic enzymes as synthetic tools and therapeutic targets
•Click chemistries for GAGs chemical (glyco)biology and therapeutic innovation