Microbial Glycobiology

Microbial Glycobiology

Structures, Relevance and Applications

1st Edition - August 31, 2009

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  • Author: Anthony Moran
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080923246
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123745460

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This book presents in an easy-to-read format a summary of the important central aspects of microbial glycobiology, i.e. the study of carbohydrates as related to the biology of microorganisms. Microbial glycobiology represents a multidisciplinary and emerging area with implications for a range of basic and applied research fields, as well as having industrial, medical and biotechnological implications.

Key Features

  • Individual chapters provided by leading international scientists in the field yield insightful, concise and stimulating reviews
  • Provides researchers with an overview and synthesis of the latest research
  • Each chapter begins with a brief 200 word Summary/Abstract detailing the topic and focus of the chapter, as well as the concepts to be addressed
  • Allows researchers to see at a glance what each chapter will cover
  • Each chapter includes a Research Focus Box
  • Identifies important problems that still need to be solved and areas that require further investigation


Researchers and graduate students in both academia and industry:

Infectious disease specialists

These researchers are trying to understand how certain microbial pathogens (protozoa, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc) cause disease in humans. With insights from microbial glycobiology new diagnostic methods can be designed to detect the infectious agent and also to determine if one bug is more virulent than another, thus, helping disease diagnosis.

Microbial glycobiology allows them to examine the role that sugars play in the disease process and help them determine a way to prevent a pathogen causing disease. Hence, new insights will be gained that could aid boost the immune system, thereby new biotheraputics and vaccines are being developed

Carbohydrate chemists (analytical and synthetic)

By determining the structure of glycosylated proteins, lipids and other natural products from microbes, researchers can reveal the location of the sugars. They then have the ability to modify and control which sugars are attached and exactly how they are attached. This is important as it enables them to modify glycosylated biomolecules that are important in disease processes and turn these into better drugs.

Researchers in biomedical, diagnostic and biopharmaceutical companies
Pharmacologists are using microbial glycobiology to produce carbohydrate-based diagnostics, vaccines, drugs and immunotherapeutics.

From the insights gained of the enzymes used in the natural synthesis of the glycosylated molecules in microbes, manipulations using these enzymes can be made to synthesise newer glycosylated structures that can be used in therapeutics or for obtaining correct glycosylation of cloned human proteins used in biotherapeutics.

Since glycosylation determines the half-life of many biotherapeutics, usage of knowledge from glycosylation systems from microbes can help manufacture more effective therapeutics.

Molecular and cell biologists

These researchers are trying to map the complex pathways of how specific sugar polymers are made by pathogenic microbes including bacteria and fungi. The outcome of this research will allow them to identify important drug targets that could be used to screen for novel antimicrobials against a variety of infections. Also, the information gained allows manipulation of biosynthetic pathways in genetic engineering of a variety of glycosylation or carbohydrate products.

Food industry and biotechnology industry

These researchers are using microbial polysaccharides as thickening agents in food products and as probiotic materials, e.g. in yogurts. This plays an important role in the development of so-called designer foods.

In industrial processes, certain microbial polysaccharides are involved in corrosion and biofouling and knowledge gained of microbial glycobiology is being applied to overcome these problems.
The biotechnology industry is using and manipulating bacteria to produce glycosylated products of importance for the agrifood and biopharma industrial sectors.

Table of Contents

  • Part I. Microbial glycolipids, glyoproteins and glycopolymers
    1. Overview of the glycosylated components of the bacterial cell wall
    2. Bacterial cell wall envelope peptidoglycan
    3. Core oligosaccharide and lipid A components of lipopolysaccharides
    4. O-Specific polysaccharides of Gram-negative bacteria
    5. Teichoic acids, lipoteichoic acids, and related cell wall glycopolymers of Gram-positive bacteria
    6. Bacterial capsular polysaccharides and exopolysaccharides
    7. Bacterial surface layer glycoproteins and “non-classical” secondary cell wall polymers
    8. Glycosylation of bacterial and archaeal flagellins
    9. Glycosylated components of the mycobacterial cell wall: structure and function
    10. Glycoconjugate structure and function in fungal cell walls
    11. Cytoplasmic carbohydrate molecules: trehalose and glycogen
    12. Glycosylated compounds of parasitic protozoa
    13. Analytical approaches towards the structural characterization of microbial wall glycopolymers
    14. Single-molecule characterization of microbial polysaccharides
    15. Viral surface glycoproteins in carbohydrate recognition: structure and modeling

    Part II. Synthesis of microbial glycosylated components; A. Biosynthesis and biosynthetic processes
    16. Biosynthesis of bacterial peptidoglycan
    17. Biosynthesis and membrane assembly of lipid A
    18. Biosynthesis of O-antigen chains and assembly
    19. Biosynthesis of cell wall teichoic acid polymers
    20. Biosynthesis and assembly of capsular polysaccharides
    21. Biosynthesis of the mycobacterial cell envelope components
    22. Biosynthesis of fungal and yeast glycans B. Chemical synthesis
    23. Chemical synthesis of bacterial lipid A
    24. Chemical synthesis of the core oligosaccharide of bacterial lipopolysaccharide
    25. Chemical synthesis of lipoichoic acid and derivatives
    26. Chemical synthesis of parasitic glycoconjugates and phosphoglycans

    Part III. Microbe-host glycosylated interactions
    27. Bacterial lectin-like interactions in cell recognition and adhesion
    28. Lectin-like interactions in virus-cell recognition: human immunodeficiency virus and C-type lectin interactions
    29. Sialic acid-specific microbial lectins
    30. Bacterial toxins and their carbohydrate receptors at the host-pathogen interface
    31. Toll-like receptor recognition of lipoglycans, glycolipids and lipopeptides
    32. NOD receptor recognition of peptidoglycan
    33. Microbial interaction with mucus and mucins
    34. Mannose-fucose recognition by DC-SIGN
    35. Host surfactant proteins in microbial recognition
    36. T-cell recognition of microbial lipoglycans and glycolipids

    Part IV. Biological relevance of microbial glycosylated components; A. Environmental relevance
    37. Extracellular polymeric substances in microbial biofilms
    38. Physico-chemical properties of microbial glycopolymers
    39. Microbial biofilm-related polysaccharides in biofouling and corrosion
    40. Microbial glycosylated components in plant disease  B. Medical relevance
    41. Antigenic variation of microbial surface glycosylated molecules
    42. Phase variation of bacterial surface glycosylated molecules in immune evasion
    43. Molecular mimicry of host glycosylated structures by bacteria
    44. Role of microbial glycosylation in host cell invasion

    Part V. Biotechnological and medical applications
    45. Exopolysaccharides produced by lactic acid bacteria in food and probiotic applications
    46. Industrial exploitation by genetic engineering of bacterial glycosylation systems
    47. Glycomimetics as inhibitors in anti-infection therapy
    48. Bacterial polysaccharide vaccines: glycogonjugates and peptide-mimetics
    49. Immunomodulation by zwitterionic polysaccharides
    50. Future potential of glycomics in microbiology and infectious diseases

Product details

  • No. of pages: 1036
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2009
  • Published: August 31, 2009
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080923246
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123745460

About the Author

Anthony Moran

Affiliations and Expertise

National University of Ireland, Galway and Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia

About the Editors

Anthony Moran

Affiliations and Expertise

National University of Ireland, Galway and Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia

Otto Holst

Affiliations and Expertise

Leibniz-Center for Medicine and Biosciences, Borstel, Germany

Patrick Brennan

Affiliations and Expertise

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

Mark von Itzstein

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia

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