Perspective: 2003 Claude S. Hudson Award Address in Carbohydrate Chemistry. Heparin: Structure and Activity

Linhardt, Robert J.
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Biology , Chemistry and chemical biology , Chemical and biological engineering , Biomedical engineering
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Perspective: 2003 Claude S. Hudson Award Address in Carbohydrate Chemistry. Heparin: Structure and Activity, R. J. Linhardt, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 46, 2551-2554, 2003.
Heparin, a sulfated polysaccharide, is a major clinical anticoagulant. It is exploited to overcome the natural propensity for blood to clot. Surgical procedures often require anticoagulation as do extracorporeal therapies, such as heart lung oxygenation and kidney dialysis. 1 Whenever blood contacts damaged endothelium in a surgical wound or the synthetic surface of a medical device, the coagulation cascade is activated and a clot is formed. 2 Despite heparin's widespread medical use, its precise chemical structure, the range of its biological activities, and the structure−activity relationship (SAR) for these activities is not yet well understood. This paper will review some of the important chemical and biological aspects of heparin and the related polysaccharide, heparan sulfate, with a focus on major research accomplishments taking place in our laboratory and others over the past 25 years. Finally, future directions in heparin research will be discussed.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 46, 2551-2554
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY