Glycomics of the immune system

Pierre Redelinghuys, Paul R. Crocker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Immune system senses and eliminates potential pathogens. The innate immune system deals with the vast majority of these. Failure to do this leads to activation of the adaptive immune system consisting of clonally expanding populations of T and B-lymphocytes whose exquisite specificity runs the risk of autoimmunity. Glycomics and associated technologies enable a greater understanding of the critical role that glycosylation plays in the regulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses, revealing the enormous complexity of the immune cell glycan repertoire. This chapter provides an overview of the immune cell glycan repertoire (glycome) regarding changes during activation and differentiation of immune cells, and how this influences their interactions with various endogenous lectins. Immune cell differentiation, activation, and death are accompanied by dramatic changes in glycosylation patterns due to the complex and dynamic expression of various glycosidases and glycosyltransferases. This leads to the generation of glycoproteins and glycolipids with considerable heterogeneity in the nature and extent of their glycan modifications. The identification and characterization of the ligands of endogenous immune-associated lectins and the significance of these interactions are important goals, given the potential for therapeutic interventions in the treatment of infectious, neoplastic, and inflammatory diseases. These interactions within the immune response are significant. Cellular glycomes of the innate and adaptive immune system are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of glycomics
    EditorsRichard D. Cummings, J. Michael Pierce
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherAcademic Press
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9780080920054
    ISBN (Print)9780123736000
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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