Iduron is focused on a particular branch of glycobiology concerned with anionic polysaccharides called Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS). This class of molecules includes heparin, a widely-used anticoagulant. GAGS are strongly implicated in inflammation, degenerative diseases, malignancy, microbial and parasitic infections and age-related neural pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease.
It is thus self evident that research on the structure, binding properties and cellular effects of GAGS will lead to new and fundamental insights in cell and molecular biology and may shed light on pathological mechanisms in human disease with the fascinating prospect of the emergence of GAG based therapies.
Work on the structure of oligosaccharides recognised by HIV-1 antibody may lead to the creation of an immunogen and so help fight the disease.
One of the key functions of GAGS located on the plasma membrane is to activate effector proteins that drive cell proliferation in normal cell turnover as new cells replace dying ones. In tumours cell proliferation goes unchecked and thus drug targeting; the study of cell surface GAGS is likely to lead to novel therapies in cancer treatment.