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Phylogeny, structure, function, biosynthesis and evolution of sulfated galactose-containing glycans

, : Phylogeny, structure, function, biosynthesis and evolution of sulfated galactose-containing glycans. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 84: 372-379

Glycans are ubiquitous components of all organisms. The specificity of glycan structures works in molecular recognition in multiple biological processes especially cell-cell and cell-matrix signaling events. These events are mostly driven by functional proteins whose activities are ultimately regulated by interactions with carbohydrate moieties of cell surface glycoconjugates. Galactose is a common composing monosaccharide in glycoconjugates. Sulfation at certain positions of the galactose residues does not only increase affinity for some binding proteins but also makes the structures of the controlling glycans more specific to molecular interactions. Here the phylogenetic distribution of glycans containing the sulfated galactose unit is examined across numerous multicellular organisms. Analysis includes autotrophs and heterotrophs from both terrestrial and marine environments. Information exists more regarding the marine species. Although future investigations in molecular biology must be still performed in order to assure certain hypotheses, empirical evidences based on structural biology of the sulfated galactose-containing glycans among different species particularly their backbone and sulfation patterns clearly indicate great specificity in terms of glycosyltransferase and sulfotransferase activity. This set of information suggests that evolution has shaped the biosynthetic machinery of these glycans somewhat related to their potential functions in the organisms.


PMID: 26712697

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.12.035

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