Chemical glycobiology

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office


The Field group is diverse in its activities, which range from organic synthesis to mechanistic enzymology and chemical biology. The common theme that runs throughout is carbohydrates. Current research themes include: the development of novel chemical and enzymatic approaches for the preparation of sugar nucleotides, oligosaccharides and glycosylated natural products; structural and mechanistic studies on enzymes involved in bacterial lipopolysaccharide, plant cell wall, plant and microbial and secondary metabolite biosynthesis; carbohydrate-coated surfaces (carbohydrate microarrays, glyco-nanoparticles and glyco-quantum dots) for identifying and quantifying protein-carbohydrate and pathogen-carbohydrate interactions; chemical genomics and chemical proteomics tools for plant cell and developmental biology with a particular emphasis on glycobiology (starch and plant cell metabolism, glycosylated secondary metabolites).


10 25 50
Description New information on inhibitors of enzymes in starch metabolism, in model plant Arabidopsis and in barley.
A new carbohydrate-binding virus that infect and lyse algae - a key factor in releasing fish-killing toxins from algal blooms.
New enzymatic approaches for the preparation of oligosaccharides, based on glycoside phosphorylases
Protein X-ray crystallography studies on enzymes involved in starch metabolism
New carbohydrate-coated surfaces (glyco-nanoparticles) for identifying pathogen-carbohydrate interactions
Exploitation Route Our virus/algal blooms work impacts on policy for waterways management and mitigation strategies.This is being followed up with the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority.

Our enzymatic synthesis work has been taken forward with Innovate UK support - via the Glycoenzymes and GelEnz consortia.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Environment,Healthcare

Description Our work on glycosylated natural product toxins has had a major impact on algal bloom management on the Norfolk Broads, from work with the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

Company Name Iceni Diagnostics Ltd 
Description Iceni Diagnsoptics offers bespoke solutions to third parties with requirement in carbohydrate and bioconjugation chemistry. It also has an in house program of glycodiagnostics development. 
Year Established 2014 
Impact Too early