GlyCatProject reference: 334566
Funded under :
Total cost:EUR 81 250
EU contribution:EUR 81 250
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIGSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)
Catalysts for stereoselective glycosylations will be developed. The focus being on designing organocatalysts for catalyst-controlled glycosylations.
Carbohydrates, the most abundant biomolecules on Earth, are intimately involved in many
crucial biological processes (signal transduction, cell recognition) and in diseases (AIDS,
cancer). They are useful for the investigation of diseases, and have great potential as vaccines
and therapeutics. The biology depends on the specific identity (including stereochemistry) of
the carbohydrates (usually oligosaccharides – several monosaccharides joined together).
A significant bottleneck in making scientific progress in the strategically important
field of glycoscience is the effort and expense required to synthesise pure oligosaccharides
and glycoconjugates as single stereochemical isomers. A major synthetic difficulty with
oligosaccharides (vs. oligonucleotides or oligopeptides) is the diversity that can exist: a rough
calculation suggests that there are ~256 DNA tetranucleotides, ~160,000 tetrapeptides and
>4x10^7 linear tetrasaccharides. Added permutations arise from the variety of monosaccharide
stereoisomers and the different connectivities possible at each linkage. Many oligosacchardies are not linear but branched - adding further permutations.
Given the impact of the ability to easily synthesise oligopeptides and oligonucleotides have had on modern biology, it is difficult to predict the impact of technology that would allow oligosaccharides to be synthesised with similar ease, other than that it would be highly significant. The proposal seeks to work towards this goal in a way that is complementary to approaches currently being used. Over the past 30 years stereoselective catalysis has transformed the availability of chiral molecules in enantiopure form. However, it has yet to make a similar impact on carbohydrate chemistry. GlyCat will be at the forefront of efforts to change the status quo in saccharide synthesis.
EU contribution: EUR 81 250
Tel.: +353 1 7161656
Fax: +353 1 7161216