Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Glycobiology and Cancer

  • Göran Larson
  • Ammi Grahn
  • Jonas Nilsson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2444-2


Glycobiology is a discipline of natural sciences covering studies of the structure, biosynthesis, and biology of glycans and glycoconjugates and proteins that specifically interact with these. It is involved in almost every aspect of cancer: transformation, progression, metastasis, diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy. Still, the general awareness of the potential and clinical use of discoveries in glycobiology among oncologists, or in oncology among glycobiologists, is limited.


Glycan Structural Diversity Is Theoretically Immense but Genetically Restricted

The field of glycobiology has evolved from mainly structural characterization of naturally occurring carbohydrates (sugars or glycans) to functional studies of the biology and interaction of such compounds with both endogenous and exogenous proteins, lectins typically equipped with carbohydrate recognizing domains (CRD). The glycans (Fig. 1) may occur as free oligosaccharides but are usually covalently...


Glycan Structure Enzymatic Glycosylation Aberrant Glycosylation Homing Process Aglycone Part 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicin, Institute of BiomedicineSahlgrenska academy at Göteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden