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Increased understanding of the role of protein- and lipid-linked carbohydrates in a wide range of biological processes has led to interest in drugs that target the enzymes involved in glycosylation. But given the importance of carbohydrates in fundamental cellular processes such as protein folding, therapeutic strategies that modulate, rather than ablate, the activity of enzymes involved in glycosylation are likely to be a necessity. Two such approaches that use imino sugars to affect glycosylation enzymes now show considerable promise in the treatment of viral infections, such as hepatitis B, and glucosphingolipid storage disorders, such as Gaucher disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Drug Discov

Publication Date





65 - 75


Animals, Antiviral Agents, Diarrhea Viruses, Bovine Viral, Disease Models, Animal, Gaucher Disease, Glycoproteins, Glycosphingolipids, Glycosylation, HIV, Hepatitis B virus, Humans, Mice, Protein Folding