Glycoconjugates (glycolipids and glycoproteins) are a major class of biomolecules found on the cell surface of essentially all cells and tissues. A remarkable and somewhat bewildering number of different oligosaccharide structures (glycans) have been isolated and characterized from glycoconjugates. Because of this remarkable structural diversity, oligosaccharide structures have long been considered ideal candidates for information-containing molecules which can mediate intercellular communication and recognition or alternatively, communication between a cell and its environment. Indeed, ordered, sequential changes in the expression of specific glycan structures at the cell surface may provide an important mechanism for controlling cell-cell behavior and fate during development. During early murine embryogenesis, temporal changes in cell surface glycosylation patterns (stage specific antigens) have been documented using monoclonal antibodies that are specific for defined glycan structures (reviewed in 1).
KeywordsSugar Arthritis Carbohydrate Polypeptide Osteoarthritis
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