Next Article in Journal
Splicing Regulation of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines and Chemokines: At the Interface of the Neuroendocrine and Immune Systems
Next Article in Special Issue
Two-Dimensional N-Glycan Distribution Mapping of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Tissues by MALDI-Imaging Mass Spectrometry
Previous Article in Journal
Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Activate Tristetraprolin Expression through Induction of Early Growth Response Protein 1 (EGR1) in Colorectal Cancer Cells
Previous Article in Special Issue
Determinants of Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) Structure
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Biomolecules 2015, 5(3), 2056-2072;

Notable Aspects of Glycan-Protein Interactions

Depatment of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, BRF2 MC 0687, La Jolla, CA 92093-0687, USA
Academic Editor: Hans Vliegenthart
Received: 5 August 2015 / Revised: 27 August 2015 / Accepted: 27 August 2015 / Published: 1 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Glycan, Glycoprotein and Proteoglycan Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3056 KB, uploaded 1 September 2015]   |  


This mini review highlights several interesting aspects of glycan-mediated interactions that are common between cells, bacteria, and viruses. Glycans are ubiquitously found on all living cells, and in the extracellular milieu of multicellular organisms. They are known to mediate initial binding and recognition events of both immune cells and pathogens with their target cells or tissues. The host target tissues are hidden under a layer of secreted glycosylated decoy targets. In addition, pathogens can utilize and display host glycans to prevent identification as foreign by the host’s immune system (molecular mimicry). Both the host and pathogens continually evolve. The host evolves to prevent infection and the pathogens evolve to evade host defenses. Many pathogens express both glycan-binding proteins and glycosidases. Interestingly, these proteins are often located at the tip of elongated protrusions in bacteria, or in the leading edge of the cell. Glycan-protein interactions have low affinity and, as a result, multivalent interactions are often required to achieve biologically relevant binding. These enable dynamic forms of adhesion mechanisms, reviewed here, and include rolling (cells), stick and roll (bacteria) or surfacing (viruses). View Full-Text
Keywords: sperm; leukocytes; influenza A; FimH; mucus; cumulus oophorus; hyaluronan; rolling adhesion; stick and roll; surfacing; glycans; sialic acids sperm; leukocytes; influenza A; FimH; mucus; cumulus oophorus; hyaluronan; rolling adhesion; stick and roll; surfacing; glycans; sialic acids

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cohen, M. Notable Aspects of Glycan-Protein Interactions. Biomolecules 2015, 5, 2056-2072.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top