Concept

Glycosylation

Summary
Glycosylation is the reaction in which a carbohydrate (or 'glycan'), i.e. a glycosyl donor, is attached to a hydroxyl or other functional group of another molecule (a glycosyl acceptor) in order to form a glycoconjugate. In biology (but not always in chemistry), glycosylation usually refers to an enzyme-catalysed reaction, whereas glycation (also 'non-enzymatic glycation' and 'non-enzymatic glycosylation') may refer to a non-enzymatic reaction. Glycosylation is a form of co-translational and post-translational modification. Glycans serve a variety of structural and functional roles in membrane and secreted proteins. The majority of proteins synthesized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum undergo glycosylation. Glycosylation is also present in the cytoplasm and nucleus as the O-GlcNAc modification. Aglycosylation is a feature of engineered antibodies to bypass glycosylation. Five classes of glycans are produced:
  • N-linked glycans attached to a nitrogen of asparagine or arginine side-ch
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