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Glycobiology. 2008 Oct;18(10):761-9. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwn063. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Lectin microarrays identify cell-specific and functionally significant cell surface glycan markers.

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Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Glycosylation is among the most complex posttranslational modifications with an extremely high level of diversity that has made it refractory to high-throughput analyses. Despite its resistance to high-throughput techniques, glycosylation is important in many critical cellular processes that necessitate a productive approach to their analysis. To facilitate studies in glycosylation, we developed a high-throughput lectin microarray for defining mammalian cell surface glycan signatures. Using the lectin microarray we established a binary analysis of cell binding and hierarchical organization of 24 mammalian cell lines. The array was also used to document changes in cell surface glycosylation during cell development and differentiation of primary murine immune system cells. To establish the biological and clinical importance of glycan signatures, the lectin microarray was applied in two systems. First, we analyzed the cell surface glycan signatures and were able to predict mannose-dependent tropism using a model pathogen. Second, we used the glycan signatures to identify novel lectin biomarkers for cancer stem-like cells in a murine model. Thus, lectin microarrays are an effective tool for analyzing diverse cell processes including cell development and differentiation, cell-cell communication, pathogen-host recognition, and cell surface biomarker identification.

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