GlycoEpitope: A Database of Carbohydrate Epitopes and Antibodies
Recently, the involvement of carbohydrate chains in life sciences has been extended to diverse functions as cell to cell recognition, communication in neuronal tissues and immune systems, pathogen recognition, sperm-egg recognition, fertilization, regulation of hormonal half-lives in the blood, direction of embryonic development and differentiation, and direction of the distribution of various cells and proteins throughout the body. A large number of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have been used as very important tools for analyzing the expression of various carbohydrate chains and their functions. However, a large amount of important information on carbohydrate-recognizing antibodies is spread throughout a wide range of literature. In this database, useful information on such carbohydrate antigens, i.e., glyco-epitopes and antibodies has been assembled as a compact encyclopedia (Kawasaki et al. 2006). It has been developed with the cooperation of foremost researchers in the field of glycobiology and is maintained by the Ritsumeikan University Research Center for Glycobiotechnology. GlycoEpitope provides a wealth of information including lists of glycoproteins that express carbohydrate antigens, glycolipids of which part of the structure is a carbohydrate antigen, enzymes that take part in the synthesis and degradation of epitopes, the times and sites of expression of carbohydrate antigens, diseases to which carbohydrate epitopes are related, and suppliers from which carbohydrate-recognizing antibodies can be obtained. This database is useful for not only glycobiologists but also a wide range of life science researchers. The search criteria are very flexible, so, a user can easily find the information he needs. Here, we would like to give a general outline of the database and how to use it.
KeywordsCarbohydrate Antigen Cell Recognition Neuronal Tissue Carbohydrate Chain Pathogen Recognition
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- Kawasaki T, Nakao H, Takahashi E, Tominaga T (2006) GlycoEpitope: the integrated database of carbohydrate antigens and antibodies. Trends Glycosci Glycotechnol 18:267–272Google Scholar