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Role of glycomics

Glycans represent the third class of macromolecules that carry biological information, next to nucleic acids and proteins. As an analogy to the words genome and proteome, glycome is an entire set of glycans produced by one organism, tissue or cell. Glycomics, in turn, refers to the collection, analysis, and exploitation of glycobiological data at the glycome level.

Glycobiology is a fundamental element in understanding pathogen interaction, cell-to-cell interaction, and cellular differentiation. All cells are covered by carbohydrate structures which affect many biological processes such as fertilization, tissue development, and immunology, and play a key role in the development of various diseases, such as cancer. While carbohydrates are essential for life they have ubiquitous occurrence and are difficult to precisely characterize and engineer.

Glykos’ science & technology

Glykos develops new pharmaceutical molecules through the study of glycomes. We use advanced analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry, microanalytical chromatography, glycan and protein microarrays, fluorescence-activated cell sorting and NMR spectroscopy to identify putative targets. Our synthetic bioactive oligosaccharides and oligosaccharide libraries enable us to then link the target with a specific chemical structure to develop new pharmaceutical molecules.

Our high-precision high-throughput technologies include structural analysis of carbohydrates, analysis of protein-carbohydrate interactions as well as enzymatic, organochemical, and chemo- enzymatic synthesis of carbohydrate structures.

Structure analysis

  • Structural analysis of glycans from biological samples including proteins, cells, and tissues
  • Purification and characterization of complex carbohydrates such as milk oligosaccharides or polysaccharide fragments
  • Proteomics and protein chemistry
  • Development of diagnostic targets for e.g. disease detection or quality control
  • Advanced analytical techniques including MS, NMR, and HPLC

Synthesis and modification

  • Chemical production of carbohydrate conjugates and derivatives
  • Chemo-enzymatic synthesis of oligosaccharides and oligosaccharide libraries
  • Development of product candidate molecules for preclinical tests
  • Modification of carbohydrate structures e.g. in protein or cell therapeutics

Interaction studies

  • Studies of carbohydrate-pathogen interactions
  • Studies of carbohydrate-receptor interactions
  • Development of inhibitors of pathological recognition events
  • Development of novel diagnostic reagents

Oligosaccharide libraries

For high-throughput screening of biologically important protein-glycan interactions Glykos uses oligosaccharide libraries. These can be conjugated on solid supports:

  • Natural oligosaccharide libraries isolated from organism of interest
  • N-glycan, O-glycan, and glycolipid libraries
  • Enzymatically or chemically modified oligosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharide libraries for ligand screening studies
  • Oligosaccharide libraries for pathogen inhibition studies

Cell line glycoengineering

  • Introduction of new glycosylation pathways to production cell lines
  • Humanization of glycosylation
  • Knock-out or inhibition of interfering glycosylation pathways
  • Characterization and quality control of glycosylation
  • Mammalian and microbial cell lines