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Structure/function of O-glycans

Part 3. Proteomics

3.5. Proteome Diversity

Specialist Review

  1. Anthony P. Corfield

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047001153X.g305205

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Corfield, A. P. 2005. Structure/function of O-glycans. Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 3:3.5:65.

Author Information

  1. University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


O-glycans linked to protein through an O-glycosidic linkage between N-acetylgalactosamine and serine or threonine form a large group of oligosaccharides present in a variety of proteins. This article describes the structural characteristics of O-glycans, prediction of their occurrence, and location in proteins. The biosynthetic pathways leading to their formation are presented, with examples for selected structures. Examples of the variety of biological functions associated with O-glycans cover several major areas. These include their influence on protein conformation and stability; their roles in recognition phenomena, including cell proliferation and growth, glycoprotein trafficking and clearance, immunological recognition, selectin ligands, multivalent binding patterns in signal transduction, fertilization; and finally, their roles in the activity of signaling molecules.


  • O-glycan;
  • O-glycan core;
  • O-glycan biosynthesis;
  • O-glycan recognition;
  • oligosaccharide;
  • serine–threonine-rich;
  • N-acetylgalactosamine;
  • mucin type;
  • glycosyltransferase;
  • protein conformation