Synthesis and biological activity of naturally occurring a-glucosidase inhibitors

In addition to their clinical importance in the treatment of type II diabetes, a-glucosidase inhibitors have attracted considerable attention from the synthetic community because of their profound effect on an array of cellular processes, including N-linked glycoprotein processing and maturation, oligosaccharide metabolism, and cell–cell and cell–virus recognition. Over the past decade, a number of structurally novel naturally occurring a-glucosidase inhibitors which do not conform to the classical iminosugar mold have been identified, including zwitterionic thiosugars and marine organosulfates. While these natural products are important leads in the development of new classes of glucosidase inhibitors, they have also attracted considerable attention as synthetic targets in of themselves. This article reviews the recent literature concerning the synthesis of these emerging natural product families, as well as the preparation of those polyhydroxylated alkaloids more traditionally associated with anti-a-glucosidase activity. 176 references are cited.

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