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