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Glycosylation plays a key role in a wide range of biological processes. Specific modification to a glycan's structure can directly modulate its biological function. Glycans are not only essential to glycoprotein folding, cellular homeostasis, and immune regulation but are involved in multiple disease conditions. An increased molecular and structural understanding of the mechanistic role that glycans play in these pathological processes has driven the development of therapeutics and illuminated novel targets for drug design. This knowledge has enabled the treatment of metabolic disorders and the development of antivirals and shaped cancer and viral vaccine strategies. Furthermore, an understanding of glycosylation has led to the development of specific drug glycoforms, for example, monoclonal antibodies, with enhanced potency.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1235681

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

03/01/2014

Volume

343

Keywords

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antiviral Agents, Cancer Vaccines, Drug Design, Glycolipids, Glycoproteins, Glycosylation, HIV Infections, Humans, Metabolic Diseases, Neoplasms, Polysaccharides, Viral Vaccines