2Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 47, 119991 Moscow, Russia
* Dedicated to the memory of Prof. V. N. Shibaev.
** To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received November 30, 2010; Revision received January 17, 2011
Leishmania are a genus of sandfly-transmitted protozoan parasites that cause a spectrum of debilitating and often fatal diseases in humans throughout the tropics and subtropics. During the parasite life cycle, Leishmania survive and proliferate in highly hostile environments. Their survival strategies involve the formation of an elaborate and dense cell-surface glycocalyx composed of diverse stage-specific glycoconjugates that form a protective barrier. Phosphoglycans constitute the variable structural and functional domain of major cell-surface lipophosphoglycan and secreted proteophosphoglycans. In this paper, we discuss structural aspects of various phosphoglycans from Leishmania with the major emphasis on the chemical preparation of neoglycoconjugates (neoglycoproteins and neoglycolipids) based on Leishmania lipophosphoglycan structures as well as the immunological evaluation for some of them as potential anti-leishmaniasis vaccines.
KEY WORDS: Leishmania, lipophosphoglycan, carbohydrates, neoglycoconjugates, glycoconjugate vaccines, chemical synthesis