Exploiting non-covalent interactions in selective carbohydrate synthesis
Loh CCJ (2021). Nature Reviews Chemistry
The Loh research group lately published a comprehensive review in Nature Reviews Chemistry describing the the exploitation of non-covalent interactions (NCIs) in selective carbohydrate synthesis. While NCIs are essential in biological/enzymatic bond forming events, their role in carbohydrate synthesis -a key biologically relevant reaction- is surprisingly still in its infancy. This topic is thus an emerging new direction which has gained prominence in contemporary carbohydrate chemistry, and has attracted the attention of synthetic groups in the last few years. Particularly, harnessing NCIs in new methodology development is now intensely investigated as a robust biomimetic strategy in surmounting challenging stereoselectivity issues that had plagued carbohydrate synthesis for decades. The Loh's group is recognized one of the key leaders in this area, and exploiting NCIs as a synthetic tool in carbohydrate chemistry currently forms one of the main thrust of the group's research interest. Many exciting aspects in this fast-moving field still remain to be discovered, and further investigation of the role of NCIs in the biologically relevant glycosylations and site-selective carbohydrate functionalizations is expected to impact multiple overlapping fields, such as biomimetic chemistry, carbohydrate chemistry, noncovalent catalysis and stereoselective chemistry.