Laboratory of Carbohydrates

Department of Chemical Biology of Glycans and Lipids

Head: Nicolai Bovin, D.Sc, professor, +7(495)995-55-57#2045, +7(495)995-55-57#3863

Oligosaccharide and glycoconjugates synthesis, supramolecular chemistry, oncology, blood groups, transplantology, influenza, natural antibodies, galectins, siglecs, glycoarrays, carbohydrate-protein interaction, cell glycopattern

The Laboratory is engaged in the synthesis of oligosaccharides, glycoconjugates and  self-assembling peptides/glycopeptides, design of glycoarrays and glycolandscapes, study of carbohydrate-protein interactions, characterization of specificity of mammalian and bacterial lectins, study of natural anti-glycan antibodies.

Multiantigen microchip

Researchers of the Laboratory together with Consortium for Functional Glycomics have developed a glycan microarray (printed glycan array, PGA) – a multi-antigen microchip; due to the presence of tumor-specific markers (glycans)  it allows for prognosis, diagnosis and monitoring of cancer at a new level. Now it is possible to use it both in basic research and in the development of diagnostic approaches, first of all oncological and reproductive system diseases.

Supramolecular chemistry

Booming interest in the self-assembly of small molecules is due to the ability to use them in design of nanomaterials with individual properties and molecular devices. To gather nanomaterials and devices we use simple molecules consisting almost exclusively of oligoglycine; the chains are organized in a star-like fashion. Oligoglycines are capable of forming supramers due to hydrogen bonds. In supramers of (Glycosyl-S)n type, the S-fragment provides the assembly, and the carbohydrate part  provides both biological activity and water solubility. Click here for details.

Synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates

The Laboratory is engaged in the synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, the universal instruments for various biochemical and immunological studies of all types of carbohydrate-binding proteins. Details are here and here.

Modification of the cell surface (glyco-landscaping)

The Laboratory is engaged in studying the transfer of glycolipids between cells, as well as the development of synthetic glycolipids (and similarly constructed lipophilic peptides) capable of insertion into almost any cell (animal cells, bacteria, membrane viruses). Modification of erythrocytes allows to identify antibodies (in practical, diagnostics purposes) by the simplest possible method – the agglutination.

"Painting" of cancer cells with synthetic glycolipids promised to be new therapeutic approach, it based on the initiation of an immune antitumor response: injection of the glycolipid into the tumor leads to an immediate immune attack with pre-existing natural antibodies directed to the glycan of this glycolipid. We identified a number of natural antibodies that specifically bind and destroy the cells of breast cancer. Click here  and here for details.

Also, the Laboratory is engaged in development of vaccines based on dendritic cells.

The Laboratory collaborates with Institute’s departments and also with the Blokhin Cancer Research Center, the Kulakov Scientific Center of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology, the Bellvitge University Hospital (Barcelona, Spain), the Institute of Health Research of the University of Nantes (France), the Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand), the Institute for Glycomics of the Griffith University (Australia), the University of Basel (Switzerland), the Masaryk University Central European Institute of Technology (Czech Republic) etc.

The Laboratory of Carbohydrates was organized in 1988, it became a natural continuation of the direction laid by academician N. Kochetkov and then Professor A. Khorlin (“Laboratory of glycoproteins and mixed biopolymers”) in the Institute.

  • Synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, self-associating peptides and glycopeptides;
  • Design of diagnostic glycoarray;
  • Study of carbohydrate-protein interactions;
  • Natural antibodies to carbohydrates, B1 cell immunity.
Nicolai Bovin, D.Sc, professordepart., +7(495)995-55-57#2045, +7(495)995-55-57#3863
Nadezhda Shilova, Ph.D.s. r.
Galina Pazynina, Ph.D.s. r.
Elena Korchagina, Ph.D.s. r.
Evgenia Rapoport, Ph.D.s. r.
Alexander Tuzikov, Ph.D.s. r.
Ivan Rishovr.
Polina Obukhova, Ph.D.r.
Oksana Galanina, Ph.D.r.
Tat'jana Ovchinnikova, Ph.D.r.
Marina Sablina, Ph.D.r.
Tat'jana Tyrtysh, Ph.D.r.
1157, Ph.D.r.
Alexander Chinaryovj. r.
Kira Dobrochaevaj. r.
Nailya KhasbiullinaPhD
Nadezhda IgnatievaPhD
Galina Voznovat. q. - lab.
Michael Gorbacheng.
Ivan Belyanchikovres.

Former members:

Kira Kuzmichevaj. r.
Vitali Nasonovj. r.
Pavel Chugunovj. r.
Maxim Novakovski, Ph.D.j. r.

Selected publications

  1. Pazynina G.V., Tsygankova S.V., Sablina M.A., Paramonov A.S., Formanovsky A.A., Bovin N.V. (2016). Synthesis of blood group pentasaccharides ALey, BLey and related tri- and tetrasaccharides. Mendeleev Communications 26, 103–105 ID:1629
  2. Alekseeva A., Kapkaeva M., Shcheglovitova O., Boldyrev I., Pazynina G., Bovin N., Vodovozova E. (2015). Interactions of antitumour Sialyl Lewis X liposomes with vascular endothelial cells. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1848 (5), 1099–1110 [+]

    Recently, we showed that tetrasaccharide selectin ligand SiaLe(X) provided targeted delivery of liposomes loaded in the bilayer with melphalan lipophilic prodrug to tumour endothelium followed by severe injury of tumour vessels in a Lewis lung carcinoma model. Here, we study the impact of SiaLe(X) ligand on the interactions of liposomes with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) using flow cytometry, spectrofluorimetry and confocal microscopy. Liposomes composed of egg phosphatidylcholine/yeast phosphatidylinositol/1,2-dioleoyl glycerol ester of melphalan, 8:1:1, by mol, and varying percentages of lipophilic SiaLe(X) conjugate were labelled with BODIPY-phosphatidylcholine. The increase in SiaLe(X) content in liposomes led to a proportional increase in their uptake by cytokine-activated cells as opposed to non-activated HUVEC: for 10% SiaLe(X) liposomes, binding avidity and overall accumulation increased 14- and 6-fold, respectively. The early stages of intracellular traffic of targeted liposomes in the activated cells were monitored by co-localisation with the trackers of organelles. Endocytosis of SiaLe(X) liposomes occurred mostly via clathrin-independent pathways, which does not contradict the available literature data on E-selectin localisation in the plasma membrane. Using dual fluorescence labelling, with rhodamine-labelled phospholipid and calcein encapsulated at self-quenching concentrations, we found that SiaLe(X) liposomes undergo rapid (within minutes) internalisation by activated HUVEC accompanied by the disruption of liposomes; non-activated cells consumed a negligible dose of liposomes during at least 1.5h. Our data evidence the selective effect of SiaLe(X) formulations on activated endothelial cells and indicate their potential for intracellular delivery of melphalan lipophilic prodrug.

  3. Саблина М.А., Тузиков А.Б., Овчинникова Т.В., Михура И.В., Бовин Н.В. (2015). Синтез моно- и ди-О-сульфатов спейсерированной лактозы. Известия Академии наук. Серия Химическая.  (5), 1125–1133 ID:1371
  4. Ryzhov I.M., Korchagina E.Y., Popova I.S., Bovin N.V. (2012). Block synthesis of A tetrasaccharides (types 1, 3, and 4) related to the human ABO blood group system. Carbohydr. Res. 351, 17–25 [+]

    Blood group A tetrasaccharides of different types have the same terminal trisaccharide fragment that allows using a block scheme in their synthesis. 3-Aminopropyl glycosides of tetrasaccharides GalNAcα1-3(Fucα1-2)Galβ1-3GlcNAcβ (A type 1), GalNAcα1-3(Fucα1-2)Galβ1-3GalNAcα (A type 3), and GalNAcα1-3(Fucα1-2)Galβ1-3GalNAcβ (A type 4) were synthesised using acetylated Galα1-3(Fucα1-2)Gal trichloroacetimidate as a glycosyl donor at the key stage.

  5. Moiseeva E.V., Kuznetsova N.R., Svirshchevskaya E.V., Bovin N.V., Sitnikov N.S., Shavyrin A.S., Beletskaya I.P., Combes S., Fedorov A.Y.u., Vodovozova E.L. (2011). Liposome formulations of combretastatin A4 and its 4-arylcoumarin analogue prodrugs: The antitumor effect in the mouse model of breast cancer. Biochemistry (Moscow) Supplement Series B: Biomedical Chemistry Biochemistry (Moscow) Supplement Series B: Biomedical Chemistry 5 (3), 276–283 [+]

    The antimitotic agent combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) has been recently proposed as an antivascular agent for anticancer therapy. In order to reduce systemic toxicity by means of administration in liposome formulations, new lipophilic prodrugs, oleic derivatives of CA-4 and its 4-arylcoumarin analogue (CA4-Ole and ArC-Ole, respectively), have been synthesized in this study. Liposomes with mean diameter of 100 nm prepared on the basis of egg phosphatidylcholine and baker’s yeast phosphatidylinositol quantitatively included up to 15 mol% of CA4-Ole, or 7 mol% of ArC-Ole. To achieve targeting to neovascular endothelium prodrug bearing liposomes decorated with the tetrasaccharide selectin ligand Sialyl Lewis X (SiaLeX) have been also prepared. The antitumor activity was studied in vivo using the model of slow-growing mouse breast cancer. Under the dose used (22 mg/kg) and the administration protocol (four injections, one per a week, starting from the appearance of palpable tumors) cytostatic CA-4 did not reveal any anticancer effect; moreover, it even stimulated tumor growth. The liposome formulations of CA4-Ole did not demonstrate such stimulation. However, to achieve a pronounced antitumor effect, the number of injections of liposomes should be apparently increased. The cytotoxic activity of a novel antimitotic agent ArC was one order of magnitude lower in the human breast carcinoma cell culture in vitro. Nevertheless, in vivo in the mouse model of breast cancer the antitumor effect of this compound corresponded to the double equivalent dose of CA-4. The results demonstrate perspectives of SiaLeX-liposomes loaded with ArC-Ole: the preparation partially inhibited tumor growth already after the second injection. Thus, subsequent optimization of doses and regimens of administration both for ArC and liposomal ArC-Ole formulations are needed.

  6. Vodovozova E.L., Pazynina G.V., Bovin N.V. (2011). Synthesis of diglyceride conjugate of selectin ligand SiaLeX as a vector for targeting of drug-loaded liposomes. Mendeleev Communications 21 (2), 69–71 [+]

    A conjugate of tetrasaccharide Sialyl Lewis X [SiaLeX, Neu5Acα2-3Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAcβ] 3-aminopropyl glycoside and rac-1,2-dioleoyl-3-carboxymethylene[poly(8–15)oxyethylene]oxyacetylamidopropionylglycerol amenable for the incorporation in lipid bilayer of drug-loaded liposomes to achieve targeting in tumors and inflammation foci was obtained by the formation of carboxamide bond.

  7. Pazynina G., Sablina M., Mayzel M., Nasonov V., Tuzikov A., Bovin N. (2009). Chemical synthesis of 6(GlcNAc)- and 6(Gal)-O-sulfated SiaLe(X) tetrasaccharides in spacer-armed form. Glycobiology 19 (10), 1078–81 [+]

    Practical synthesis of tetrasaccharide sulfates, 6((GlcNAc))-O-Su-SiaLe(X)-OCH(2)CH(2)CH(2)NH(2) and 6((Gal))-O-Su-SiaLe(X)-OCH(2)CH(2)CH(2)NH(2) (Su( )SO(3)H), selectin ligands, and leu- kocyte trafficking agents is presented. Both sulfates were synthesized starting from the same precursor, protected SiaLe(x), by the conventional procedures of carbohydrate chemistry. The sulfated SiaLe(x) derivative was modified at the spacer group to give 6((Gal))-O-Su-SiaLe(x)- OCH(2)CH(2)CH(2)NH-COCH(2)CH(2)C[triple bond]CH, convenient for "click chemistry" mode conjugation with an azido carrier, particularly, for the synthesis of an immunogen.

  8. Huflejt M.E., Vuskovic M., Vasiliu D., Xu H., Obukhova P., Shilova N., Tuzikov A., Galanina O., Arun B., Lu K., Bovin N. (2009). Anti-carbohydrate antibodies of normal sera: findings, surprises and challenges. Mol. Immunol. 46 (15), 3037–49 [+]

    We have used microchip format glycan array to characterize the individual carbohydrate recognition patterns by antibodies (Ab) in sera of 106 healthy donors. The glycan library included blood group antigens and other most frequent terminal oligosaccharides and their cores of mammalian N- and O-linked glycoproteins and glycolipids, tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens, and common components of bacterial/pathogenic polysaccharides and lipopolysaccharides, totally 205 glycans. The serum Ab interacted with at least 50 normal human glyco-motifs. Apart from expected blood group-, xeno- (heterophil) and infection-related binding activities, we observed a number of new and unexpected features. The surprising, relatively high antibody binding was found to the blood group P(1) and P(k) trisaccharides and H(type 2) trisaccharide. Novel and very high binding activities have been observed towards Galbeta1-3GlcNAc (Le(C)) related glycans, especially 3'-O-Su-Le(C), and towards 4'-O-sulfated lactosamine. Relatively high and uniform Ab binding to GalNAcalpha1-3Gal disaccharide demonstrated absence of correlation with fucosylated blood group A GalNAcalpha1-3(Fucalpha1-2)Gal antigen-similarly to well known relationship between Galalpha1-3Gal and true, fucosylated blood group B Galalpha1-3(Fucalpha1-2)Gal antigen. The binding intensity to Galalpha1-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAc xenoantigen was shown to be rather modest. Absence or very low Ab binding was found against oligosialic acid, sialooligosaccharides except SiaT(n), type 2 backbone glycans such as Le(y), and biantennary N-chain as well as its truncated forms, i.e. without terminal Sia, SiaGal, and SiaGalGlcNAc motifs. We have also found that Ab are capable of recognizing the short inner core typical for glycolipids (-Galbeta1-4Glc) and glycoproteins (-GalNAcalpha) as a fragment of bigger glycans.

  9. Bovin N.V., Tuzikov A.B., Chinarev A.A. (2008). Oligoglycines: Materials with unlimited potential for nanotechnologies. Nanotechnologies in Russia 3 (5-6), 48–61 ID:241
  10. (2008). Mammalian galectins: structure, carbohydrate specificity, and functions. Биохимия 73 (4), 483–497 [+]
  11. Rapoport E.M., André S., Kurmyshkina O.V., Pochechueva T.V., Severov V.V., Pazynina G.V., Gabius H.J., Bovin N.V. (2008). Galectin-loaded cells as a platform for the profiling of lectin specificity by fluorescent neoglycoconjugates: a case study on galectins-1 and -3 and the impact of assay setting. Glycobiology 18 (4), 315–24 [+]

    The involvement of galectins as pleiotropic regulators of cell adhesion and growth in disease progression explains the interest to define their ligand-binding properties. Toward this end, it is desirable to approach in vivo conditions to attain medical relevance. In order to simulate physiological conditions with cell surface glycans as recognition sites and galectins as mediators of intercellular contacts we developed an assay using galectin-loaded Raji cells. The extent of surface binding of fluorescent neoglycoconjugates depended on the lectin presence and the type of lectin, the nature of the probes' carbohydrate headgroup and the density of unsubstituted beta-galactosides on the cell surface. Using the most frequently studied galectins-1 and -3, application of this assay led to rather equal binding levels for linear and branched oligomers of N-acetyllactosamine. A clear preference of galectin-3 for alpha1-3-linked galactosylated lactosamine was noted. In parallel, a panel of 24 neoglycoconjugates was tested as inhibitors of galectin binding from solution to N-glycans of surface-immobilized asialofetuin. These two assays differ in presentation of the galectin and ligand, facilitating identification of assay-dependent properties. Under the condition of the cell assay, selectivity among oligosaccharides for the lectins was higher, and extraordinary affinity of galectin-1 to 3'-O-sulfated probes in a solid-phase assay was lost in the cell assay. Having introduced and validated a cell assay, the comprehensive profiling of ligand binding to cell-surface-presented galectins is made possible.

  12. (2008). Галектины млекопитающих:структура, углеводная специфичность и функции (обзор). Биохимия , [+]
  13. Gambaryan A.S., Boravleva E.Y., Matrosovich T.Y., Matrosovich M.N., Klenk H.D., Moiseeva E.V., Tuzikov A.B., Chinarev A.A., Pazynina G.V., Bovin N.V. (2005). Polymer-bound 6' sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine protects mice infected by influenza virus. Antiviral Res. 68 (3), 116–23 [+]

    To develop a mouse model for testing receptor attachment inhibitors of human influenza viruses, the human clinical virus isolate in MDCK cells A/NIB/23/89M (H1N1) was adapted to mice by serial passaging through mouse lungs. The adaptation enhanced the viral pathogenicity for mice, but preserved the virus receptor binding phenotype, preferential binding to 2-6-linked sialic acid receptors and low affinity for 2-3-linked receptors. Sequencing of the HA gene of the mouse-adapted virus A/NIB/23/89-MA revealed a loss of the glycosylation sites in positions 94 and 163 of HA1 and substitutions 275Asp-->Gly in HA1 and 145Asn-->Asp in HA2. The four mouse strains tested differed significantly in their sensitivity to A/NIB/23/89-MA with the sensitivity increasing in the order of BALB/cJCitMoise, C57BL/6LacSto, CBA/CaLacSto and A/SnJCitMoise strains. Testing of protective efficacy of the polyacrylamide conjugate bearing Neu5Acalpha2-6Galbeta1-4GlcNAc trisaccharide under conditions of lethal or sublethal virus infection demonstrated a strong protective effect of this preparation. In particular, aerosol treatment of mice with the polymeric attachment inhibitor on 24-110 h after infection completely prevented mortality in sensitive animals and lessened disease symptoms in more resistant mouse strains.

  14. Mochalova L.V., Korchagina E.Y., Kurova V.S., Shtyria J.A., Gambaryan A.S., Bovin N.V. (2005). Fluorescent assay for studying the substrate specificity of neuraminidase. Anal. Biochem. 341 (1), 190–3 [+]

    In this article, we propose a simple and sensitive fluorescent method for determining the neuraminidase specificity using BODIPY-labeled trisaccharides as substrates.

  15. Blixt O., Head S., Mondala T., Scanlan C., Huflejt M.E., Alvarez R., Bryan M.C., Fazio F., Calarese D., Stevens J., Razi N., Stevens D.J., Skehel J.J., van Die I., Burton D.R., Wilson I.A., Cummings R., Bovin N., Wong C.H., Paulson J.C. (2004). Printed covalent glycan array for ligand profiling of diverse glycan binding proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101 (49), 17033–8 [+]

    Glycochip, constructed in frame of Consortium for Functional Glycomics, open new horizons in studying of carbohydrate-binding proteins

  16. Шиян С.В., Зуева В.С., Насонов В.В., Жигис Л.С., Цой Н.С., Бовин Н.В. (2004). Сиалирование N-углеводных цепей гликопротеинов с помощью иммобилизованной транс-сиалидазы Trypanosoma cruzi. Биоорг. хим. 30 (4), 1–9 ID:208
  17. Gambaryan A.S., Tuzikov A.B., Pazynina G.V., Webster R.G., Matrosovich M.N., Bovin N.V. (2004). H5N1 chicken influenza viruses display a high binding affinity for Neu5Acalpha2-3Galbeta1-4(6-HSO3)GlcNAc-containing receptors. Virology 326 (2), 310–6 [+]

    Deadly avian H5N1 viruses capable of infecting humans binds with elevated affinity to new carbohydrate receptor, differing from “classic” human 6’SLN-receptor

  18. Bovin N.V., Tuzikov A.B., Chinarev A.A., Gambaryan A.S. (2004). Multimeric glycotherapeutics: new paradigm. Glycoconj. J. 21 (8-9), 471–8 [+]

    The general principle of anti-adhesion therapy is the inhibition of microorganism adhesion to the host cell with the help of a soluble receptor analog. Despite an evident attractiveness of the concept and its long existence, the therapeutics of the 'post-antibiotic era' have not yet appeared. This can be explained by the contradictoriness of requirements for anti-adhesion drugs: to be efficient a drug must be multivalent, i.e. large molecule, but to obtain FDA approval it should be a small molecule. A way to overcome this contradiction is self-assembly of glycopeptides. The carbohydrate part of glycopeptide is responsible for binding with the lectin of microorganisms, whereas a simple peptide part is responsible for an association to the so-called tectomers. Depending on the structure, tectomers are formed either spontaneously or upon promotion of a microorganism. In particular, sialopeptide, which is capable of converting to a tectomer only in the presence of the influenza virus, has been obtained. Thus, the new strategy of anti-adhesion therapy can be formulated as follows: (1) identification of oligosaccharide-receptor for a particular virus (bacteria); (2) optimization of the peptide part; (3) conventional trials. The expected advantages of this strategy are the following: (i) no polymer; (ii) a virion completely covered with a tectomer, i.e. blocking is both complete and irreversible; (iii) rapid and rational lead identification and optimization; (iv) minimum side effects; (v) potential for microorganism resistance to natural receptor is lower than in the case of mimetics.

  19. Tuzikov A.B., Chinarev A.A., Gambaryan A.S., Oleinikov V.A., Klinov D.V., Matsko N.B., Kadykov V.A., Ermishov M.A., Demin I.V., Demin V.V., Rye P.D., Bovin N.V. (2003). Polyglycine II nanosheets: supramolecular antivirals? Chembiochem 4 (2-3), 147–54 [+]

    New principal for design of drug against influenza virus, based on virus-promoted assembling of small molecule-prodrug into virus-blocking supramolecular “envelop”

  20. Рапопорт Е.М., Некрасов М.В., Хайдуков С.В., Свирщевская Е.В., Жигис Л.С., Козлов Л.В., Баталова Т.Н., Зубов В.П., Бовин Н.В. (2000). Изучение клеточной локализации галактозосвязывающего лектина из сыворотки крови человека. Биохимия 65 (11), 1558–1563 ID:207
  21. Mikhalchik E.V., Shiyan S.D., Bovin N.V. (2000). Carbohydrate-carbohydrate interaction: zymosan and beta-glucan from Saccharomyces cerevisiae bind mannosylated glycoconjugates. Biochemistry Mosc. 65 (4), 494–501 [+]

    First example of carbohydrate-carbohydrate interaction where N-glycans seems to be key participant

  22. Bovin N.V., Korchagina E.Y., Zemlyanukhina T.V., Byramova N.E., Galanina O.E., Zemlyakov A.E., Ivanov A.E., Zubov V.P., Mochalova L.V. (1993). Synthesis of polymeric neoglycoconjugates based on N-substituted polyacrylamides. Glycoconj. J. 10 (2), 142–51 [+]

    Describes synthesis and application of new indispensable probes for study of carbohydrate-binding proteins both in artificial and cellular systems


Nicolai Bovin

  • Fax: +7 (495) 330-55-92