Chemically sulfated polysaccharides from natural sources: Assessment of extraction-sulfation efficiencies, structural features and antiviral activities.


Institute for Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


The provisioning of compound libraries with a high degree of diversity and attractive pharmacological properties is a limiting step in drug development. This study reports the production of highly bioactive sulfated polysaccharides, originally present in a nonsulfated, dormant state in natural sources, and demonstrates their antiviral activity (human cytomegalovirus EC50 values of 2.34-7.77 μg/mL) at a low degree of cytotoxicity. Furthermore, data strongly suggested the inhibition of virus entry as the main mode of antiviral action. Remarkably, the utilized oleum-DMF reagent was able to generate a range of sulfated polysaccharides from various natural sources, possessing varying saccharide compositions, degrees of sulfation (0.4-1.7) and molecular masses (38-94,000 g/mol). Typically, in a matter of minutes, this reagent not only solubilized polysaccharides but also chemically converted their hydroxyl functionality into sulfates. The most active sulfated polysaccharide (EC50 of 2.62 μg/mL) proved to be a 94,000 g/mol branched glucan with sulfates at C-6/C-3,6/C-2,3,6 positions. In conclusion, the important determinants of such compounds' antiviral activity are: (i) degree of sulfation, (ii) molecular mass and (iii) structural features. Thus, our approach offers a huge prospect for the improvement of natural source-derived libraries based on biologically active polysaccharides with diversified chemical profiles.


Antiviral activities,Functionalization,Natural products,Polysaccharides,Structural features,

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