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The multifaceted roles of galectins: glycan-binding proteins with multiple personalities

Gabriel Adrián Rabinovich

last updated 2023/8/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.26 (4), A12)

Multiple personality disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by the spontaneous generation of alternate versions of self. The personalities have distinctive styles of expressing themselves, and they often possess separate names, living locations, and lifestyles. The transition from one personality to another is commonly triggered by environmental and interpersonal factors. Unlike many cellular molecules and pathways, which are often specialized, this concept could be certainly applied to galectins, an evolutionarily conserved family of glycan-binding proteins with multifunctional roles in immunity. These proteins often shuttle between different intracellular compartments (nucleus, cytoplasm, and organelles) and are released to the extracellular milieu, where they acquire different roles in response to diverse microenvironmental stimuli, including hypoxia, nutrient availability, intracellular and extracellular pH, cytokine milieu and the presence of proinflammatory or immunosuppressive signals. ...and more


Preparation and Morphological Control of Supramolecular Cyclodextrin Structures

Toshiyuki Kida

last updated 2023/8/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.26 (4), A13)

Cyclodextrins (CDs) are a class of cyclic oligosaccharides consisting of several α-(1,4)-linked D-glucopyranose units (Figure 1A). CDs composed of 6, 7, and 8 glucosidic units are called α-, β-, and γ-CDs, respectively, and have been used extensively. They have a sub-nanometer-sized cavity that can accommodate guest molecules of the appropriate size and shape. The inclusion ability of CD has been academically studied as a catalyst, sensor, etc., and has been widely utilized industrially in foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, CDs can regularly assemble intermolecularly through hydrogen bonding between hydroxyl groups on the upper and lower rims of their doughnut-shaped rings or through host-guest molecular interactions. Recently, much attention has been paid in the fields of supramolecular chemistry and materials science to studies on nano- and microstructures formed by the assembly of CDs5,6. This article reviews the preparation of supramolecular structures by using the regular assembly of CD molecules, and the morphological control of supramolecular structures. ...and more


Magnetic field orientation of cellulose microcrystals

Masahisa Wada

last updated 2023/8/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.26 (4), A14)

Cellulose microcrystals prepared by treating natural cellulose (cellulose I) with acid are slender rods or whiskers of a few nanometers width and are known to have properties such as high strength, high elastic modulus, and low thermal expansion. It has also long been known that cellulose, an antimagnetic material, has magnetic anisotropy and various studies have been reported on the response of microcrystals of cellulose I to a strong magnetic field. On the other hand, there have been no studies on the magnetic field response of cellulose II, the crystalline form of regenerated cellulose fibers such as rayon. Therefore, this article summarizes the magnetic field orientation behavior of cellulose I microcrystals and introduces our recent efforts on the enzymatic synthesis of cellulose II microcrystals and their three-dimensional orientation using a magnetic field. ...and more


Collapse of the Glycocalyx in Dry Eye

Yuichi Uchino

last updated 2023/8/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.26 (4), A15)

In Japan, dry eye is a very common disease, affecting approximately 20% of the Japanese population and approximately 65% of office workers who use computers for a long time. While Japan has its own definition and diagnostic criteria for dry eye, other Asian countries use the same definition and diagnostic criteria as that of Japan as a result of the exchange of opinions through the Asia Dry Eye Society. It can be said that tear film instability on the ocular surface is of paramount importance in understanding the pathophysiology of dry eye. Tear film instability is involved in the collapse of the glycocalyx on the ocular surface; the roles of galectin 3, a glycocalyx constituent protein, has been increasingly attracting attention. In this article, we briefly review the latest clinical and basic research on tear film behavior, explore the differences in the action of galectin 3 on the ocular surface between the normal and dry eye conditions, and also mention the pathophysiology of the tear film instability. ...and more

Conference Reports

Report on the 14th International Hyaluronan Conference (HA 2023)

Shinji Miyata

last updated 2023/8/01 (Glycoforum. 2023 Vol.26 (4), A16)

The 14th International Hyaluronan Conference (HA 2023) took place from June 4th to 8th, 2023, at the Hilton Hotel in Portland, Oregon, United States. Portland is a popular city known for its blend of natural beauty and urban vibrancy. It is also referred to as the City of Roses, and the month of June, when the conference took place, coincided with the full bloom of over 10,000 roses grown in the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. ...and more