Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The bittersweet promise of glycobiology

Carbohydrates play a wide range of important roles in the body and, despite the challenges posed by glycobiology, are now tempting targets for drug developers.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A simplified diagram showing the synthesis of an N-linked glycan.

© Bob Crimi


  1. Plante, O.J., Palmacci, E.R. & Seeberger, P.H. Automated solid-phase synthesis of oligosaccharides. Science 291, 1523–1527 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Barton, W.A. et al. Structure, mechanism and engineering of a nucleotidylyltransferase as a first step toward glycorandomization. Nat. Struct. Biol. 8, 545–551 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Weikert, S. et al. Engineering Chinese hamster ovary cells to maximize sialic acid content of recombinant glycoproteins. Nat. Biotechnol. 17, 1116–1121 (2001).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Zitzmann, N. et al. Imino sugars inhibit the formation and secretion of bovine viral diarrhea virus, a pestivirus model of hepatitis C virus: implications for the development of broad spectrum anti-hepatitis virus agents. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 12, 11878–11882 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dove, A. The bittersweet promise of glycobiology. Nat Biotechnol 19, 913–917 (2001).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing