Current Issue

human milk oligosaccharides

Sialic acid impact on the gut microbiome and function

Keita Nishiyama / Takao Mukai

last updated 2022/04/01 (Glycoforum. 2022 Vol.25 (2), A3)

Sialic acid was first isolated from bovine submaxillary gland mucin by Blix in 1936, and more than 50 types of sialic acid have been identified to date. Sialic acid is a general term for neuraminic acid derivatives of negatively charged carboxyl group-containing nine-carbon acidic amino saccharides, which can be classified according to the carbon-5 position into three types: N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), and deaminoneuraminic acid. Sialic acid is closely related to various biological phenomena and is essential for maintaining the development of the human brain and nervous system and regulating the immune system. Sialic acid is also associated with colonization by symbiotic microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Therefore, sialic acid is extremely important for understanding the host-microorganism symbiotic relationship. In this study, we review sialic acid metabolism by the gut microbiome and its effects on the physiological state of the host. ...and more

Chitin and Chitosan

Biomineralization-inspired preparation of chitosan microparticles with inorganic shells

Satoshi Tanimoto

last updated 2022/04/01 (Glycoforum. 2022 Vol.25 (2), A4)

Chitin and chitosan, the structural polysaccharides that support the exoskeletons of marine organisms such as shrimp and crabs, are the second most abundant biomass after cellulose, but are yet to be fully utilized as natural resources. Various approaches to create high value-added materials using chitin and chitosan have been evaluated, and potential strategies for giving such materials greater functionality include chemical modification and increasing the complexity of shape or structure. In this paper, I will describe a method for preparing a new functional material by forming chitosan into microparticles and combining them with an inorganic material, calcium carbonate. ...and more


Medical Applications of SKM9-2, an Antibody That Recognizes Glycopeptides

Shoutaro Tsuji

last updated 2022/04/01 (Glycoforum. 2022 Vol.25 (2), A5)

The use of antibody drugs has been spreading rapidly because of their excellent pharmacological effects and the recent advances in antibody humanization technology and biologic production technology. Currently, a large number of antibody drugs are being marketed as block busters; as such, antibody drugs may be described as occupying an established position in the pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, suitable targets for disease-specific treatments are increasingly being depleted; a key step in antibody drug development is the discovery of new-generation target antigens.
We are working on discovering specific cancer antigens for malignant mesothelioma, an intractable cancer. Mesothelioma has long been an “indistinct” cancer as it lacks good cancer markers and hence is quite difficult to diagnose pathologically. Recognizing a new protein antigen encompassing a “glycopeptide region with mesothelioma-specific glycosylation,” our anti-mesothelioma antibody is highly promising as a new antibody drug seed expected to contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma, and as a drug discovery seed for targeting glycans. This article provides a historical overview of the research and development, and future prospects for clinical application of this antibody. ...and more


The mechanism of intestinal epithelial glycosylation and regulation of gut homeostasis

Yoshiyuki Goto

last updated 2022/04/01 (Glycoforum. 2021 Vol.25 (SI), G2)