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Journal of Nucleic Acids
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 740982, 15 pages
Review Article

Potential of Peptides as Inhibitors and Mimotopes: Selection of Carbohydrate-Mimetic Peptides from Phage Display Libraries

Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kouhoku, Yokohama 223-8522, Japan

Received 1 June 2012; Revised 31 July 2012; Accepted 2 August 2012

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Murakami

Copyright © 2012 Teruhiko Matsubara. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glycoconjugates play various roles in biological processes. In particular, oligosaccharides on the surface of animal cells are involved in virus infection and cell-cell communication. Inhibitors of carbohydrate-protein interactions are potential antiviral drugs. Several anti-influenza drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir are derivatives of sialic acid, which inhibits neuraminidase. However, it is very difficult to prepare a diverse range of sugar derivatives by chemical synthesis or by the isolation of natural products. In addition, the pathogenic capsular polysaccharides of bacteria are carbohydrate antigens, for which a safe and efficacious method of vaccination is required. Phage-display technology has been improved to enable the identification of peptides that bind to carbohydrate-binding proteins, such as lectins and antibodies, from a large repertoire of peptide sequences. These peptides are known as “carbohydrate-mimetic peptides (CMPs)” because they mimic carbohydrate structures. Compared to carbohydrate derivatives, it is easy to prepare mono- and multivalent peptides and then to modify them to create various derivatives. Such mimetic peptides are available as peptide inhibitors of carbohydrate-protein interactions and peptide mimotopes that are conjugated with adjuvant for vaccination.