alexa Exploring the structural diversity of mammalian carbohydrates ("glycospace") by statistical databank analysis.


Journal of Glycobiology

Author(s): Werz DB, Ranzinger R, Herget S, Adibekian A, von der Lieth CW,

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Abstract The diversity of three major classes of mammalian carbohydrates, mainly glycolipids and O- and N-linked glycans, deposited in the databank was subjected to statistical analyses. Size, chain length, and branching complexity were accessed and revealed that the average oligosaccharide is composed of about eight monosaccharide units. About a quarter of all oligosaccharides are strictly linear, and the remainder are branched at least once. Glucosamine, galactose, and mannose are dominating and comprise ~75\% of the monosaccharides within mammalian oligosaccharide frameworks. alpha-Linked sialic acid, alpha-linked fucose, and beta-linked galactose decorate the majority of reducing termini. Glucose as the most abundant carbohydrate in mammals plays only a very minor role within these structures. Particular emphasis was placed on analyzing the way the monosaccharide units are linked within the oligomeric framework. Just 11 monosaccharide connections account for >75\% of all linkages. Thus, the number of structural combinations found in nature, the part of the occupied mammalian glycospace, is much smaller than expected. As a result, a potential set of building blocks for oligosaccharide assembly is presented. This potential building block set was correlated with the accessible 3299 mammalian carbohydrate structures in the databank. Only 36 building blocks are required to construct 75\% of the 3299 mammalian oligosaccharides. This article was published in ACS Chem Biol and referenced in Journal of Glycobiology

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