||March 8, 2010
||Dr. Masaki Kato, Structural Glycobiology Team, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute
||Bioinformatics for Glycobiology
From the viewpoints of wet laboratory
Carbohydrates are called “the third life chain” in living systems following DNA and protein. DNA and protein are main research targets because they share a lot of common parts in all species. Glycans, in general, have not been considered by most biologists because the glycan possesses huge varieties (so called microheterogeneities) in any kinds of species and tissues. Since over 50% of proteins are glycosylated, glycans are expected to play important roles in biological processes.
In fact, relationships between glycan structure and a various kinds of diseases are reported. Moreover, changes in N-glycans such as fucosylation, or addition of bisecting GlcNAc, have been reported to occur as a consequence of disease. It is necessary to clarify the roles of glycans considering the complexity of glycan structures. In this seminar I will introduce the research activities of RIKEN Systems Glycobiology Research group and point out the existing problems in biological databases.