Glycobiology - The Study of Biological Sugar Chains
The course provides a foundational background for the roles of sugars in health and disease as related to the science of glycobiology. Genetics versus epigenetics and various metabolic pathways involving sugar are overviewed. How sugar impacts the human immune system from the Krebs Cycle, glycolysis, glycosylation, advanced glycation end (AGE) products, apoptosis, tumor necrosis factor, diabetes and brain development/function. A major class of molecules called glycoproteins and their role in cell attachment, cell recognition, cell receptor/communication, lubrication, immunologic function, and transport are discussed. Studies funded by the National Cancer institute investigating the role of these sugars in pancreatic, breast, and ovarian cancer are discussed. Also, studies reported in the journal of Science concerning the role of these sugars in reducing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases are reviewed.