Clinical Glycomics

Glycomics mainly refers in particular to the enzymatic process that attaches glycans to proteins, lipids, or other organic molecules. This enzymatic process produces one of the fundamental biopolymers found in cells (along with DNA, RNA, and proteins). Glycosylation also plays a role in cell-cell adhesion (a mechanism employed by cells of the immune system) via sugar-binding proteins called lectins, which recognize specific carbohydrate moieties.

Nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and glycans are the four classes of biomolecules that define life. Recent advances in life science research have painted a very different point of view of the importance of these quintessential biomolecules. Even though our knowledge is still limited, glycans are becoming more important to other fields such as vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, materials, and energy. This will subsequently speed up the advancement in other fields, such as research on carbohydrate-based vaccines that require access to well-defined carbohydrate structures and tools.

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