Recent Progress in Pharmaceutical Nanobiotechnology: A Medical Perspective

Biosynthesis and Function of Glycoconjugates

Author(s): Elvan Bakar*, Nebiye Pelin Türker and Zeynep Erim

Pp: 166-222 (57)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815179422123080009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Investigations to ascertain the physiological roles of carbohydrates in biological systems are being given more importance each day. Basically, carbohydrates are biomolecules with a wide range of biological functions, although they represent the primary energy source for metabolic processes. Carbohydrates are found as structural components in connective tissue in animal organisms. They also act as structural elements in both plant and bacterial cell walls. In the cell, they bind to lipids and proteins to form glycoconjugates called glycolipids, glycopeptides, glycoproteins and peptidoglycans. By binding to lipids and proteins on the cell surface, they perform as molecules that support intercellular adhesion and intercellular communication. Glycobiology is the science that investigates the structure, biosynthesis, and impacts of glycans on biological functions. In biology, glycoconjugates serve a variety of key roles. In mammalian cells, the majority of proteins are glycosylated, and this explains how proteins perform their various functions. In the future, these techniques will be crucial for the identification and treatment of specific diseases. The most major area of progress in glycobiology is the development of carbohydrate-based medicines.
Some diseases, including cancer, can be diagnosed via altered cell surface glycosylation pathways as a biomarker. Therefore, regulating glycosylation mechanisms and understanding the phenotypic characteristics of glycoconjugates are crucial steps in the design of novel strategies.
This chapter discusses the biosynthesis of glycoconjugates, their wide range of biological functions, and their significance for therapy

Keywords: Biomarker, Biosynthesis, Carbohydrate, Cancer, Diagnosis, Function, Glycan, Glycosylation, Glycoconjugate, Glycoprotein, Glycolipid, Glycosidases, Membrane, N-Glycan, O-Glycan, Oligosaccharide, Protein, Proteoglycan, Transferases, Therapeutic Effects.

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