Current Issue

Glycan and Database

Databases of glycogenes (GGDB and FlyGlycoDB)

Sachiko Akase / Kiyohiko Angata

last updated 2019/08/01(2019 Vol.22 (3), A7)

In the third article of this series on Glycan and Database, we introduce glycan-related gene databases. Genes associated with glycan synthesis (glycan-related genes, glycogenes) include genes necessary for glycosynthesis such as sugar-nucleotide synthases, sugar-nucleotide transporters, and glycosyltransferases, and genes necessary for glycolysis such as glycosidase. In humans, about 300 glycogenes are involved in the synthesis and breakdown of glycans. During the evolution of organisms, the number of glycogenes has increased and their kinds have become increasingly diverse. Here, we first introduce databases (DBs) useful for research on glycogenes, and then describe the features of our databases, i.e., GGDB and FlyGlycoDB, which provide information about human glycogenes and fly glycogenes, respectively.


Insights into the key roles of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in cancer biology

Satomi Nadanaka / Hiroshi Kitagawa

last updated 2019/08/01(2019 Vol.22 (3), A8)

Chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains are distributed on the surfaces of virtually all cells and throughout most extracellular matrices; they are covalently attached to serine residues of core proteoglycan proteins. CS chains consist of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) residues alternating in glycosidic linkages with glucuronic acid residues. During biosynthesis of CS, GalNAc residues are sulfated to varying degrees at 4- and/or 6-positions. Recent studies indicate that CS chains encode important functional information via introduction of position-specific sulfate groups. These specific sulfation patterns are recognized by numerous proteins, including growth factors, morphogens, and adhesion molecules, and these interactions regulate key events in development, normal physiology, and pathophysiology. Here, we describe the significance of CS chains functioning as a signal molecule or a co-receptor of growth factors/morphogens in cancer biology.

Conference Reports

Report on the 12th International Conference on Hyarulonan (HA 2019)

Toshitaka Oohashi

last updated 2019/08/01(2019 Vol.22 (3), A9)

The 12th International Conference on Hyarulonan (HA 2019) was held at the Hilton Hotel near Cardiff Castle located in the center of Cardiff, the capital of Wales, UK, spanning five days starting from June 9, 2019. The conference was planned and organized principally by Dr. Soma Meran, Dr. Aled Phillips, Dr. Tim Bowen and Dr. Robert Steadman from Cardiff University and supported by the committee members: including Dr. Carol de la Motte (Cleveland Clinic, USA), the organizer of the last conference; Dr. Davide Vigetti (University of Insubria, Italy), the organizer of the previous conference; Dr. Anthony Day (Manchester University, UK); and Dr. Mary Cowman (NYU, USA). The international conference of International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences (ISHAS) is organized and held every two to three years. This year, the conference was held in the UK, which is split over Brexit, the withdrawal from the EU, but the conference proceeded without incident. 170 hyaluronan researchers across the world assembled to have lively discussions on latest research results.