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Beilstein J Org Chem. 2012;8:915-29. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

The use of glycoinformatics in glycochemistry.

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Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Institute of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Frankfurter Str. 100, 35392 Gießen, Germany.


Glycoinformatics is a small but growing branch of bioinformatics and chemoinformatics. Various resources are now available that can be of use to glycobiologists, but also to chemists who work on the synthesis or analysis of carbohydrates. This article gives an overview of existing glyco-specific databases and tools, with a focus on their application to glycochemistry: Databases can provide information on candidate glycan structures for synthesis, or on glyco-enzymes that can be used to synthesize carbohydrates. Statistical analyses of glycan databases help to plan glycan synthesis experiments. 3D-Structural data of protein-carbohydrate complexes are used in targeted drug design, and tools to support glycan structure analysis aid with quality control. Specific problems of glycoinformatics compared to bioinformatics for genomics or proteomics, especially concerning integration and long-term maintenance of the existing glycan databases, are also discussed.


carbohydrates; databases; glycomics; software

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