Glyconectin Glycans as the Self-Assembling Nano-Molecular-Velcrosystem Mediating Self-Nonself Recognition and Adhesion Implicated in Evolution of Multicellularity

  • Gradimir N. Misevic
  • Nikola Misevic
  • Octavian Popescu
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 738)


The goal of this chapter is to make a specific contribution about glyconectin glycan as the self-assembling nano-molecular-velcro system mediating initial steps of self-nonself recognition and cell adhesion in Porifera, the first descendants of the most simple primordial multicellular organisms. Two original findings will be described: (i) Velcro like concept based on highly polyvalent and specific intermolecular glycan to glycan associations with extremely low affinity of the single binding site and (ii) novel structures of the large and newly emerging family of glyconectin like glycan molecules. The emphasis will be put on the interdisciplinary approach for studying structure to function relationship at the different size scale levels by combining the knowledge and technologies (instrumentation and methods) of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. Applying such strategy which is crossing the boundaries of different science disciplines enabled us to develop a new Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) based nano-bio-technology and perform the first quantitative measurements of intermolecular binding forces at the single molecular level under physiological conditions. We propose that nano-velcro systems of the glyconectin glycans, which are the constituents on the cell surface that are the most exposed to the environment, were responsible for the molecular self-nonself recognition and adhesion processes that underpinned the emergence of multicellular life forms.


Atomic Force Microscopy Cell Recognition Glycan Structure Recognition Molecule Atomic Force Microscopy Experiment 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gradimir N. Misevic
    • 1
  • Nikola Misevic
    • 2
  • Octavian Popescu
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Gimmune GmbHZugSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Brain ResearchUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.Molecular Biology Center and Institute for Interdisciplinary Experimental ResearchBabes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRumania
  4. 4.Institute of BiologyRomanian AcademyBucharestRumania

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