Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics

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Role of Gal and GalNAc containing glycans in various physiological processes

MRM Hussain, M Hassan, I Afzal, A Afzal


Glycoconjugates are involved in the vital physiological functions including blood group determination, cancer recognition, protein stabilization, sperm-egg adhesion and pathogenic interaction in body. These diverse biological functions of glycoconjugates are regulated by complex oligosaccharide structures linked with proteins and lipids in macromolecular assemblies. The diversity in oligosaccharide chains attached with lipids and proteins is specifically linked with the conformational behavior of sugar residues giving rise to unique carbohydrate structures with wide range of sequence and anomeric linkage. This is a challenging task to explore the relationship between biological processes and stereochemical behavior of sugar residues. Current review article focuses the specific stereochemical involvement (anomery and linkages) of Gal and its derivative GalNAc in wide range of cellular activities. These sugar residues exhibit different physiological functions at the terminal and subterminal position in glycans.

Keywords: D-Galactose; N-Acetyl-D-Galactosamine; Oligosaccharides; Sequence and anomeric linkages; Physiological efficacy
AJOL African Journals Online