Chemo-enzymatic Production of Specialty Glycans

Lead Research Organisation: University of Reading
Department Name: Pharmacy


This project will investigate the enzymatic glycosylation of modified carbohydrate monosaccharides to achieve larger, biologically relevant glycan structures. This will be achieved by extensive screening of glycosyltransferase enzymes (enzymes that catalyse the addition of a new monosaccharide to a growing sugar 'acceptor'), that are able to use modified sugars as the 'acceptor', but also as 'donor'.
The biological relevance of the synthesised new type of glycan structures will be validated by investigating their binding profile to a range of proteins that are known to be of relevance in the health sciences, with the immediate aim to develop new diagnostics applications. However, depending on the array results, further applications in other areas in the health sciences are envisaged.

Technical Summary

The vision of the project centres around the translation of traditional and novel methodologies to develop sustainable and versatile platforms for the industrial production of glycans on scale. We will demonstrate the technology by targeting a set of novel glycan materials that are anticipated to have significant transformational potential in human health and disease in diagnostics and glycoengineering applications. This project requires an integrated approach featuring: 1) synthetic chemistry (unnatural building blocks) 2) biocatalysis (enzymatic synthesis of larger glycans) 3) showcasing glycan potential in diagnostics (glycoarray based platforms). The significant anticipated progression of both biocatalysis and glycoarray technologies will reduce commercialisation barriers both in terms of commercial glycan production and 'first in the market' glycan array companies.


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
BB/M028879/1 19/10/2015 08/04/2018 £364,803
BB/M028879/2 Transfer BB/M028879/1 09/04/2018 18/04/2021 £217,920
Description Key findings have been reported to the consortium (and communicated to the monitoring officer by the group) at the required intervals for this project (including submission of full milestone reports).

Please note that this award was transferred to the University of Reading from the Open University
Exploitation Route This award is part of a larger consortium award and the consortium has explored possibilities for impact generation.
Sectors Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology