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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1273:203-14. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2343-4_15.

Exploring the specificities of glycan-binding proteins using glycan array data and the GlycoSearch software.

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Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA.


The glycan array is a powerful tool for investigating the specificities of glycan-binding proteins. By incubating a glycan-binding protein on a glycan array, the relative binding to hundreds of different oligosaccharides can be quantified in parallel. Based on these data, much information can be obtained about the preference of a glycan-binding protein for specific subcomponents of oligosaccharides or motifs. In many cases, the analysis and interpretation of glycan array data can be time consuming and imprecise if done manually. Recently we developed software, called GlycoSearch, to facilitate the analysis and interpretation of glycan array data based on the previously developed methods called Motif Segregation and Outlier Motif Analysis. Here we describe the principles behind the software, the use of the software, and an example application. The automated, objective, and precise analysis of glycan array data should enhance the value of the data for a broad range of research applications.

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