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Glycans and glycoproteins are essential for organism health and play wide-ranging roles in biological systems, from receptor-mediated cell to cell interactions and protein trafficking, to pathogen infection and embryogenesis. Glycans are ubiquitous and a significant number of proteins are glycosylated, which generates a remarkably diverse array of glycoproteins and proteoglycans that carry out varied functions. Defects in glycosylation are a major contributor to disease processes—autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, congenital disorders of glycosylation—and altered glycosylation is characteristic of cancer. Glycans and glycoproteins hold great therapeutic promise and therefore, improved understanding of the consequences of dysregulated glycosylation in diseases has many implications for drug discovery and is necessary for progress in translational glycobiology. Recent advances in glycoproteomics, glycomics and new glycan analysis tools have rendered glycobiology more tractable and robust.
This Collection presents original articles that advance our understanding of basic glycobiology, the functional consequences of abnormal glycosylation in disease, as well as submissions elaborating tools and techniques for glycan analysis and therapeutic opportunities in glycobiology.