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Glycosylation and Aging

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB,volume 1325)


Human lifespan has increased significantly in the last 200 years, emphasizing our need to age healthily. Insights into molecular mechanisms of aging might allow us to slow down its rate or even revert it. Similar to aging, glycosylation is regulated by an intricate interplay of genetic and environmental factors. The dynamics of glycopattern variation during aging has been mostly explored for plasma/serum and immunoglobulin G (IgG) N-glycome, as we describe thoroughly in this chapter. In addition, we discuss the potential functional role of agalactosylated IgG glycans in aging, through modulation of inflammation level, as proposed by the concept of inflammaging. We also comment on the potential to use the plasma/serum and IgG N-glycome as a biomarker of healthy aging and on the interventions that modulate the IgG glycopattern. Finally, we discuss the current knowledge about animal models for human plasma/serum and IgG glycosylation and mention other, less explored, instances of glycopattern changes during organismal aging and cellular senescence.


  • Aging
  • Inflammaging
  • Glycosylation
  • IgG N-glycome
  • Plasma N-glycome
  • Biological age

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-70115-4_17
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We kindly thank our colleague Thomas Klaric for his help with the literature search on brain glycosylation , and our colleagues Olga O. Zaytseva and Lucija Klaric for a helpful discussion of glycosylation genome-wide association studies.

Disclosure of Interests

AC, JK, MMK, and MP are employees of Genos Ltd.—a private research organization that specializes in the high-throughput glycomic analysis and has several patents in the field. AC and MP are also employees of Genos Glycoscience Ltd.—a spin-off of Genos Ltd. that commercializes its scientific discoveries.

Ethical Approval

This work involves no human participants, animals, their data, or biological material, therefore no ethical approval was required.


This work was partly supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds IRI grant (#KK., CEKOM grant (#KK. and the Croatian Centre of Research Excellence in Personalized Healthcare grant (#KK.; as well as the “Research Cooperability” Program of the Croatian Science Foundation funded by the European Union from the European Social Fund under the Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources 2014–2020 (project PZS-2019-02-4277, Protein glycosylation in aging-related diseases through study of Down syndrome as accelerated aging condition).

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Correspondence to Marija Pezer .

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Cindrić, A., Krištić, J., Martinić Kavur, M., Pezer, M. (2021). Glycosylation and Aging. In: Lauc, G., Trbojević-Akmačić, I. (eds) The Role of Glycosylation in Health and Disease. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 1325. Springer, Cham.

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