Researchers Make First Sugar Arrays
By Jason Socrates Bardi
For the last several years, high-throughput technologies
like gene microarraysthe "chips" that combine thousands
of distinct sequences of RNA on a microtiter platehave
allowed researchers to screen whole cells and tissues for
particular DNA, RNA, and protein sequences.
However, the same thing is not so easy to do when the sequences
are carbohydrates rather than nucleic acids. But while sugar
microarrays have been difficult to make, such a technology
is highly desirable because more than half of all the proteins
in the human body have carbohydrate molecules attached, and
sugar microarrays would help scientists identify sugar ligands
and receptors and screen inhibitors of sugar-protein and sugar-RNA
Now a team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute
(TSRI) has succeeded in making the first microtiter arrays
of carbohydrate molecules. In an article published last month
by the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Professor
Chi-Huey Wong and his colleagues report the successful synthesis
and attachment of oligosaccharides to a microtiter plate.
Once attached, the oligosaccharides were stable and suitable
for biological screening.
With this breakthrough, combined with other technologies,
such as Wong's one-pot method for the rapid synthesis of oligosaccharides,
the development of sugar arrays for high-throughput screening
and drug discovery is now possible.
To read the article, "Synthesis of Sugar Arrays in Microtiter
Plate" by Fabio Fazio, Marian C. Bryan, Ola Blixt, James C.
Paulson, and Chi-Huey Wong, please see: