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Computational modeling of the sugar-lectin interaction.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Volume 56, Issue 4, p.437-57 (2004)


Carbohydrates, Chemistry, Pharmaceutical, Crystallography, X-Ray, Drug Interactions, Lectins, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Chemical, Thermodynamics


In the last few years numerous experimental studies have shed light onto the details of the lectin-carbohydrate interaction. X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy have been used to elucidate the structures of lectins, sugars, and their complexes. In addition, an increasing number of experimental methods has been employed to determine the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of the binding process. Based on this experimental data, computational methods have been developed to model and predict these interactions. A plethora of techniques from Molecular Modeling and Computational Chemistry have been applied to the problem and current models achieve high-quality predictions. These successes are based on both new theoretical approaches and reliable experimental data. The aim of the present article is to outline the most relevant computational and experimental methods applied in the field of lectin-carbohydrate interaction and to give an overview of the current state of the art in the modeling of these interactions with a focus on plant lectins.