Mannose with anti-cancer effect

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In a recently published Nature report it was investigated how tumor cells respond to different forms of sugar [1]. It was found that the monosaccharide mannose causes growth retardation in several tumor types in vitro, and enhances cell death in response to major forms of chemotherapy. These effects were also observed in vivo in mice following the oral administration of mannose, without significantly affecting the weight and health of the animals. Mannose accumulates as mannose-6-phosphate in cells, and this impairs the further metabolism of glucose in glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, the pentose phosphate pathway and glycan synthesis. As a result, the administration of mannose in combination with conventional chemotherapy affects levels of anti-apoptotic proteins of the Bcl-2 family, leading to sensitization to cell death.

It is a question if the various mannose-substituted CD derivatives (bearing mannose group(s) for targeting tumor cells [2-5]) might have similar effect.


  1. Sierra Gonzalez, P., O’Prey, J., Cardaci, S., Barthet, V.J.A., Sakamaki, J. et al. Mannose impairs growth and enhances chemotherapy. Nature, Letters.
  2. Cutrone, G., Benkovics, G., Malanga, M., Fenyvesi, É., Sortino, S., García-Fuentes, L., Vargas-Berenguel, A. Mannoside and 1,2-mannobioside β-cyclodextrin-scaffolded NO-photodonors for targeting antibiotic resistant bacteria. Carbohydrate Polymers 2018, 199, 649-660.
  3. Ehrmann, S., Chu, C.-W., Kumari, S., Silberreis, K., Böttcher, C., Dernedde, J., Ravoo, B.J., Haag, R. A. toolbox approach for multivalent presentation of ligand-receptor recognition on a supramolecular scaffold. Journal of Materials Chemistry B 2018, 6(25), 4216-4222.
  4. Arima, H., Motoyama, K., Higashi, T. Potential therapeutic application of dendrimer/cyclodextrin conjugates with targeting ligands as advanced carriers for gene and oligonucleotide drugs. Therapeutic Delivery 2017, 8(4), 215-232.
  5. Zhang, Q., Cai, Y., Wang, X.-J., Xu, J.L., Ye, Z., Wang, S., Seeberger, P.H., Yin, J. Targeted photodynamic killing of breast cancer cells employing heptamannosylated β-cyclodextrin-mediated nanoparticle formation of an adamantane-functionalized BODIPY photosensitizer. ACS Applied Materials and Interface 2016, 8(49), 33405-33411.

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