The functional importance of post-translational protein modifications, such as glycosylation, is underscored by the relatively small number of genes found within the human genome. In an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Biotechnology Shigeyuki Fukui and colleagues describe the production of nitrocellulose microarrays containing neoglycolipids (NGL), lipid-linked oligosaccharide probes

Using immobilized sugar arrays to screen for carbohydrate-recognizing protein ligands, the group showed that immobilized N-acetyllactosamine and chondroitin sulfate oligosaccharides were recognized by specific antibodies, and that cytokines and chemokines bound to a range of sulfated probes. This experimental tool brings us one step closer to surveying the entire "glycome", say the authors.

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