2010 Glycobiology Workshop hosted in Shanghai (photo by SIMM)
The Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) hosted the 2010 Workshop on Glycobiology: Glycan Function and Application on October 14.
Glycobiology is the study of the structure, biosynthesis, and biology of saccharides (sugar chains on glycoprotein and/or proteoglycan, or glycans) that are widely distributed in nature. It is becoming a hot research area in biology. Saccharides are very complex and have numerous building blocks whereas genes have only 4 and proteins 20.
The workshop was designed as a platform for knowledge exchange and co-operation among researchers from China, U.S. and U.K.
U.S. and U.K. researchers outlined the latest findings about the effects of polysaccharide chains on embryonic stem cells, heart disease and diabetes. A highlight was the progress made in synthesising these chains, with one American team creating a chain with a molecular weight of 25,000 kD.
Chinese researchers analysed the functions of glycoprotein and proteoglycan in tumours, micro-organisms and immune diseases.
Professor DING Kan, of SIMM, concluded the workshop with his research on the anti-angiogenesis effect of polysaccharides by inhibiting transcription factor or microRNAs on cancer cells. Angiogenesis is the process of forming a new network of blood vessels. If this is blocked, cancer cells and tumours die. The research offers the possibility of new anti-cancer drugs.
Full details of the workshop are available at: