Description: Oligosaccharides play an essential role in a range of biological processes and interactions of significant importance to human health and nutrition including cell proliferation and recognition, glycosylation of proteins and prebiotic activity. Almost all cell surface proteins and secreted proteins are glycosylated and the glycan structures are mediators of protein folding, cell signaling and organisation. The glycans consist predominantly of mannose, galactose, glucose and their N-acetylated derivatives including N-acetyl neuraminic acid, but also fucose, important to the blood group system, and xylose, present in attachment regions of proteoglycans. Thus interactions with oligosaccharides form the basis for pathogen recognition, inflammation and immune responses. Generally, antibodies recognize oligosaccharide epitopes of the size of a tetra-saccharide.
At the biological level glycosylation is not genetically and biochemically controlled to the same extent as known from protein synthesis, resulting in several glycoforms of proteins with identical peptide sequence but differing in the site and oligomer of glycosylation depending on the fluctuation in the physiological conditions. Consequently individual glycoforms appear in relatively low concentrations.
The approval of a human vaccine based on a synthetic carbohydrate proves the potential use of biotechnology and chemistry to develop glycoconjugate vaccines (Verez-Bencomo et al 2004). However, in glycobiology and glyco-medicine the lack of pure and structurally well-defined carbohydrates and glycoconjugates is a major obstacle (Boltje et al 2009).
The present PhD course will focus on analyses of complex glyco-structures and derivatives, utilization of carbohydrate active enzymes for synthesis of oligosaccharides and carbohydrate derivatives, and glycosylation of proteins.
Group discussion of assignments and theoretical problems will be part of the course. The students will briefly present their research project.

Organizer: Associate Professor Lars Haastrup Pedersen and Aleksander Lie

Lecturers: External speakers, Lars Haastrup Pedersen, Aleksander Lie, Reinhard Wimmer


Time: December 2014

Place:  Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Aalborg University (AAU), Sohngaardsholmsvej 49

Zip code: 9000 

City: Aalborg

Number of seats:

Deadline: 28 November, 2014