The precise design of synthetic polymer ligands using controlled polymerization techniques provides an advantage for the field of nanoscience. We report the topological design of glyco-ligands based on synthetic polymers for targeting hemagglutinin (HA, lectin on the influenza virus). To achieve precise arrangement of the glycounits toward the sugar-binding pockets of HA, triarm star glycopolymers were synthesized. The interaction of the star glycopolymers with HA was found to depend on the length of the polymer arms and was maximized when the hydrodynamic diameter of the star glycopolymer was comparable to the distance between the sugar-binding pockets of HA. Following the formula of multivalent interaction, the number of binding sites in the interaction of the glycopolymers with HA was estimated as 1.8-2.7. Considering one HA molecule has three sugar-binding pockets, these values were reasonable. The binding mode of synthetic glycopolymer-ligands toward lectins could be tuned using controlled radical polymerization techniques.
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