The glycome refers to the entire complement of sugars, whether in free form or present as complex molecules, of an organism. It is could most notably be the most complex “omes” (Genome, Proteome, Lipidome etc.) found in the nature.Glycomics (derived from “glyco-” the chemical prefix for sweetness or a sugar) hence is the study of glycomes present in cell/organism. Though it is relatively a new field but due to importance it has, it has emerged as a very valuable field of study. Its importance can be thought of from the various functions these glycans perform individually or in conjugates as given under:
• Glycoproteins– Present on membrane for recognition of certain receptors/ cell signalling/ pattern recognition etc.
• Play a role in innate immunity.
• Determination of cancer development.
• They orchestrate the cellular fate, inhibit proliferation, regulate circulation and invasion.
• Prominent in stability and folding of proteins (Molecular Chaperones).
• There exist many glycan-specific diseases which are often hereditary diseases.
• And many more…
There are many tools meant for glycomics studies. These include highly sophisticated high resolution MS, HPLC, Glycan Arrays, Electrophoresis, Affinity Chromatography etc.Tags: chromatography, Glycomics, Glycoproteins