Glycobiology | Heparin Analysis
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Glycobiology

Glycobiology
and it's potential

Glycobiology is the study of complex carbohydrates in biological systems. Is rapidly a developing field of science which combines all branches of biomedical research, the filed being underpinned by advances in analytical techniques which have revealed the vast and diverse forms of carbohydrate structures that exist in nature.

The advances in structure determination have enabled scientists to study the function of complex carbohydrates in more depth and determine the role that they play in embryogenesis, and in cell recognition and cell growth.

Glycobiology is also having a major impact on understanding of human disease and drug design

Glycobiology
Drug Potential

Iduron is focused on a particular branch of glycobiology concerned with anionic polysaccharides called Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS). This class of molecules includes heparin, a widely-used anticoagulant. GAGS are strongly implicated in inflammation, degenerative diseases, malignancy, microbial and parasitic infections and age-related neural pathologies including Alzheimer’s disease.

It is thus self evident that research on the structure, binding properties and cellular effects of GAGS will lead to new and fundamental insights in cell and molecular biology and may shed light on pathological mechanisms in human disease with the fascinating prospect of the emergence of GAG based therapies.

Work on the structure of oligosaccharides recognised by HIV-1 antibody may lead to the creation of an immunogen and so help fight the disease.

One of the key functions of GAGS located on the plasma membrane is to activate effector proteins that drive cell proliferation in normal cell turnover as new cells replace dying ones. In tumours cell proliferation goes unchecked and thus drug targeting; the study of cell surface GAGS is likely to lead to novel therapies in cancer treatment.

Future

Research in glycobiology has made huge advances in the last half century. The importance of the GAG class of glycobiology polymers in disease therapies will continue to advance in parallel with other applications for glycobiology.

The evolution of microarrays has allowed the study of multiple reactions simultaneously.Unlike protein arrays which depend on their tertiary structure for their binding properties and so require special matrixes to maintain function. GAG based arrays are far less demanding and offer the potential for high throughput screening of drug candidates that inhibit GAG-protein interactions that drive human disease