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Advances in Human Glycome Atlas Project (HGA)

Human Glycome Atlas Project: The future that opens up

Kenji Kadomatsu

last updated 2024/02/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.27 (1), A1)

The Human Glycome Atlas Project (HGA) started in Japan in April 2023. This project will raise the level of glycan information availability, which has been remarkably low relative to that of other major biopolymers (nucleic acids and proteins). For this purpose, human glycan structures and their biosynthesis mechanisms will be comprehensively obtained within the HGA. Human glycan structures, together with clinical information and phenotypes, will be catalogued as individual data of a large population. This information will be stored in the knowledgebase TOHSA, and all researchers worldwide will be able to easily incorporate glycan information into their routine research. Thus, the HGA will give scientists a new vision of life and open a new era of life science. ...and more

Chitin and Chitosan

Making chitosan into functional materials by utilizing polyion complex formation

Takuya Sagawa / Mineo Hashizume

last updated 2024/02/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.27 (1), A2)

Chitosan is obtainable from chitin, an abundant polysaccharide, and has high biocompatibility and biodegradability. Therefore, chitosan can be used as biomaterials. Chitosan is soluble in acidic aqueous solutions and acts as a polycation. In this article, we describe a method for utilizing chitosan as structural materials (i.e., polysaccharide composite films obtained by molding polyion complexes that are formed by mixing chitosan and anionic polysaccharides). The polysaccharide composite films possess functional features such as the ability to load drugs, absorb moisture, and retain moisture, indicating that they could be useful as biomaterials in applications such as drug sustained-release carriers and wound dressings. ...and more


Mucin Decomposition Mechanisms in Gut Bacteria

Toshihiko Katoh / Takane Katayama

last updated 2024/2/01 (Glycoforum. 2024 Vol.27 (1), A3)

Certain gut bacteria produce mucin-degrading enzymes as part of their strategy to adapt themselves to the human intestine. Recent advances in the analysis of these enzymes have identified a wide variety of enzymatic repertoires corresponding to the complex structures of mucins. In addition, information about such enzymes has been compiled in various databases, making it easier to provide a comprehensive understanding of mucin decomposition and related metabolic pathways in the human intestine. This paper discusses mucin decomposition pathways derived from the characteristics of mucin-decomposition-associated enzymes that have so far been identified in gut bacteria.


The Human Glycome Atlas Project: Initiating and Envisioning the Future

Kenji Kadomatsu

last updated 2024/02/01 (Glycoforum. 2024 Vol.27 (SI), G1)