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Curr Protoc Chem Biol. 2011 Apr 1;3(2):53-63.

Derivatization of free natural glycans for incorporation onto glycan arrays: derivatizing glycans on the microscale for microarray and other applications (ms# CP-10-0194).

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  • 1Glycomics Center, Department of Biochemistry, Emory University, Atlanta GA.


Nature possesses an unlimited number and source of biologically-relevant natural glycans, many of which are too complicated to synthesize in the laboratory. To capitalize on the naturally-occurring plethora of glycans, we have developed a method to fluorescently tag the isolated free glycans, which maintains the closed-ring structure. After purification of the labeled glycans, they can be printed on a glass surface to create a natural glycan microarray, available for interrogation with potential glycan-binding proteins. The derivatization of these natural glycans has vastly expanded the number of glycans for functional studies.

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