Glycoinformatics and Glycosciences

Glycoinformatics and Glycosciences

Anita Sarkar (The Scripps Research Institute, USA) and Serge Pérez (Centre de Recherches sur les Macromolécules Végétales (CERMAV), France)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch040
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Glycobiology To Glycomics

The term glycobiology was introduced during the 1980s (Rademacher, et al., 1988), when it became apparent that a knowledge of sugar decorations and carbohydrate structures (glycocode) was necessary to fully describe biomolecular functions. Glycobiology was born at the interface of biochemistry, carbohydrate chemistry and molecular biology with the aim of studying the biosynthesis, structure and biological functions of saccharides (sugar chains/glycans). Later, the conceptual term glycome was described in the literature to refer to the complete set of glycan structures synthesized by an organism, at par with proteome and genome (Feizi, 2000). The term glycomics has become common, in analogy to genomics and proteomics (Taniguchi et al., 2001) and emphasizes the holistic view of the total glycan content and its functions in a given organism, cell or tissue. Protein-carbohydrate interactions play crucial roles in the onset, detection, and, potentially, also the prevention of diseases such as cancer, inflammation, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, bacterial, viral infections. Such interactions are also involved in the biosynthesis as well as biodegradation of the main raw materials on Earth, thus rapidly becoming an important area of research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Glycoinformatics: Field of bioinformatics pertaining to the study of carbohydrates/glycans.

Glycan: Encoding: Encoding glycan structure computationally to facilitate for electronic manipulation.

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