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Project 173010

Title: The complexity of the human glycome
Funding: Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (2020 – )
Realization by: Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy, University of Belgrade
Head of research team: Miroslava Janković, PhD, Principal Research Fellow, INEP

Subject and description: 

Subject and description: Glycosylation is a posttranslational modification that leads to the formation of glycoproteins as major components of the human proteome. The process of biosynthesis of glycans (complex carbohydrates) begins by adding basic building blocks, monosaccharides, to the protein carrier. Under the given physiological conditions, the same protein can exist as different glycosylated species. Their number, as well as their relative representation is affected by the internal structural properties of individual protein as well as by repertoire of active glycosylation enzymes. Consequently, glycome, (i.e. the whole set of glycans in an organism) has an extremely heterogeneous composition.

Despite dynamic nature of glycans, the available experimental data indicated their organized distribution, in both the soluble and membrane fractions of the cell, as well as in the extracellular space itself. Differences in the native presentation and composition of glycans are considered to be a major factor in the regulation and / or modulation of their biological activity. Given their changes in various physiological and pathophysiological conditions, they may also have significant biomarker potential in health and disease.

The distribution and organization of proteins is the result of a balance between exocytic and endocytic pathways whereas protein sorting and transport depend on various posttranslational modifications including glycosylation. Gaining insight into glycome of particular cellular and extracellular subproteomes may be important for understanding the way a given molecular environment supports specific biological activities based on the unique ligand capacity of glycans.

Key words: Glycoprotein tumor markers, mucins, galectins, extracellular vesicles, affinity-based methods for isolation and detection of glycoproteins

Research team:
Miroslava Janković, PhD, molecular biologist, Principal Research Fellow
Jelena Danilović Luković, PhD, biologist, Research Associate
Ninoslav Mitić, PhD, biologist, Research Associate
Sanja Goč, PhD, biochemist, Research Associate
Tamara Janković, MSc, medical biochemist, Research Trainee
Ljiljana Hajduković, PhD, pharmacist, Senior Expert Counselor
Snežana Golubović, MSc, pharmacist, Senior Expert Associate