Andrés Gonzalez Santana

Andres 2013-08-31

Glyconet Postdoctoral Fellow


  • 2013-2015 EMBO postdoctoral fellow, University of British Columbia, Supervisor: Steve G. Withers
  • 2008-2012 Ph.D. Chemistry, University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), Supervisor: Prof. Ernesto Suárez
  • 2006-2007 M.Sc. Organic Chemistry,Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain), Supervisor: Prof. Cosme García
  • 2000-2005 B.Sc. (Hons.) Organic Chemistry, University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain)


Phone: 604-822-4626
Email: aglez(at)



Many genetic diseases are caused by mutations that result in improperly folded proteins, with key examples being the lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs). Each LSD is caused by the deficiency of an enzyme involved in the stepwise degradation of glycolipids or glycosaminoglycans in the lysosome. In these cases, degradation stops and the residual molecule remains trapped within the cell. Gaucher disease, the most prevalent of these rare diseases (ca. 1/40000 births), is a consequence of missense mutations in the encoding gene GBA1, ultimately causing insufficient glucocerebrosidase (GBA) activity. This enzyme is a retaining beta-glucosidase responsible for catalyzing the last step in the degradation of glycosphingolipids.

My main research interest centers on the development of an alternative to the currently employed enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), and is based on the use of small molecules that specifically bind the functional form of the enzyme, compensating for the destabilizing effects of the mutation, thus stabilizing the folded form. This then allows more enzyme to avoid endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation and travel to the lysosome, where it can degrade its substrate. This is the basis of the enzyme enhancement therapy (EET), which has the potential for being much less expensive than ERT and for treating neuronal forms of the disease.



    • Selective modification of the 3’’-amino group of Kanamycin prevents significant loss of activity in resistant bacterial strains

Andrés G. Santana, Sandra G. Zárate, Juan Luis Asensio, Julia Revuelta, Agatha Bastida
Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, in press.

    • A thorough experimental study of CH/π interactions in water: quantitative structure–stability relationships for carbohydrate/aromatic complexes

Ester Jimenez-Moreno, Gonzalo Jimenez-Oses, Ana M. Gomez, Andres G. Santana, Francisco Corzana, Agatha Bastida, Jesus Jimenez-Barbero, Juan Luis Asensio
Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 6076-6085.

    • Targeting RNA with Aminoglycosides: Current Improvements in their Synthesis and Biological Activity

Andrés G. Santana, Sandra G. Zárate, Agatha Bastida, Julia Revuelta
Frontiers in Anti-Infective Drug Discovery 2015, 4, 131-209.

    • Synthetic Approaches to Heterocyclic Guanidines with Biological Activity: An Update

Sandra G. Zárate, Andrés G. Santana, Agatha Bastida, Julia Revuelta
Curr. Org. Chem. 2014, 18, 2711-2749.

    • Synthesis of branched iminosugars through a hypervalent iodine(III)-mediated radical-polar crossover reaction

Andrés G. Santana, Nieves R. Paz, Cosme G. Francisco, Ernesto Suárez, Concepción C. González
J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 7527-7543.

    • A dynamic combinatorial approach for the analysis of weak carbohydrate/aromatic complexes: dissecting facial selectivity in CH/p stacking interactions

Andrés G. Santana, Ester Jiménez-Moreno, Ana María Gómez, Francisco Corzana, Carlos González, Gonzalo Jiménez-Oses, Jesús Jiménez-Barbero, Juan Luis Asensio
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 3347-3350.

    • Chemical Interrogation of Drug/RNA complexes: from Chemical Reactivity to Drug Design

Ester Jiménez-Moreno, Irene Gómez-Pinto, Francisco Corzana, Andrés G. Santana, Julia Revuelta, Agatha Bastida, Jesús Jiménez-Barbero, Carlos González, Juan Luis Asensio
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 3148-3151.

    • Novel Synthesis of Tetrazole-fused Glycosides by a Tandem Fragmentation – Cyclisation Reaction

Nieves R. Paz, Andrés G. Santana, Cosme G. Francisco, Ernesto Suárez, Concepción C. González
Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 3388-3391.

    • Molecular Basis for Substrate Promiscuity in Resistance Enzymes: the Unusual Structural Plasticity of an Enzyme/Antibiotic Complex

Ruth Matesanz, José Fernando Díaz, Francisco Corzana, Andrés G. Santana, Agatha Bastida, Juan Luis Asensio.
Chemistry – Eur. J. 2012, 18, 2875-2889.

    • An Efficient and General Route to the Synthesis of Novel Aminoglycosides for RNA Binding

Andrés G. Santana, Agatha Bastida, Teresa Martínez del Campo, Juan Luis Asensio, Julia Revuelta.
Synlett 2011, 2, 219-222.

    • Synthesis of Guanidines from Azides: A General and Straightforward Methodology in Carbohydrate Chemistry

Andrés G. Santana, Cosme G. Francisco, Ernesto Suárez and Concepción C. González.
J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 5371-5374.