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Seikagaku: Quick Overview

5. Glycoscience

Seikagaku is applying this knowledge to the development of novel clinical applications.

A sugar chain is a polymer in which monosaccharides, such as glucose and mannose are linked together in a chain-like structure. They combine with proteins and lipids to form glycoconjugates, which are present on the surface of the cells that make up the human body.
Sugar chains play a very important role in the body. They are deeply involved in exchange of information between cells, and are essential to various life processes from birth to aging.
Recent advances in glycoscience have shown that glycoconjugates perform specific functions at all stages of biological development, including the creation of life, fetal development and the generation and restoration of internal organ functions. There is definite interest in the role of glycoconjugates in diseases. It is thought that these sugar chains are directly involved in diseases, including viral and bacterial infections, immunological diseases, and lifestyle-related diseases, as well as the onset and metastasis of cancer. New therapies or diagnostics are expected to be developed as a result of progress in glycoscience research.

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Types of glycoconjugates

  1. Sugar chain + protein = glycoprotein
  2. Sugar chain + lipid = glycolipid
  3. Extremely long sugar chains (glycosaminoglycan) + protein = proteoglycan

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