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Boron-polyol interactions are of fundamental importance to human health , plant growth  and quorum sensing among certain bacteria . Such diversity is perhaps not surprising when one considers boron is one of the ten most abundant elements in sea water and carbohydrates make up the planet’s most abundant class of biomass. Several boronic acids matrices are commercially available for the purification of glycoproteins by affinity chromatography , and boronic acids are also useful carbohydrate protecting groups.[5,6] Recently, complexes between boron and sugars have become a lynchpin for the development of synthetic carbohydrate receptors. These complexes involve covalent interactions that are reversible in aqueous solution. This chapter reviews current understanding of these processes, provides a historical perspective on their discovery, identifies methods for studying these complexes and classifies these interactions by carbohydrate type. Such information is key to the design and synthesis of synthetic lectins, also termed “boronolectins” when containing boron .
Carbohydrates - Comprehensive Studies on Glycobiology and Glycotechnology
Copyright 2012 Houston et al., licensee InTech. This is an open access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Organic Chemistry not elsewhere classified