Symbol nomenclature for representing glycan structures: Extension to cover different carbohydrate types

Authors

  • David J. Harvey,

    Corresponding author
    1. Oxford Glycobiology Institute, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX, UK
    • Oxford Glycobiology Institute, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU, UK Fax: +01865-275216
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  • Anthony H. Merry,

    1. Glycosciences Consultancy, Charlbury, OXON, OX, UK
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  • Louise Royle,

    1. Dublin-Oxford Glycobiology Laboratory, National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research and Training (NIBRT), Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    Current affiliation:
    1. Ludger Ltd., Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 3EB, UK
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  • Matthew P. Campbell,

    1. Dublin-Oxford Glycobiology Laboratory, National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research and Training (NIBRT), Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
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  • Pauline M. Rudd

    1. Dublin-Oxford Glycobiology Laboratory, National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research and Training (NIBRT), Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
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Abstract

This Viewpoint article addresses comments made on our original article describing a symbolic system for the depiction of N- and O-linked carbohydrate structures and proposes a method for extending the symbol set to include monosaccharides commonly found in carbohydrates present in bacteria and plants. As before, basic monosaccharides are shown by shape with one or more additions such as solid fill or additions of lines, crosses or dots to represent functional groups. The use of colour to differentiate constituent monosaccharides is avoided, thus enabling the system to be used in a variety of formats. Linkage and anomericity are shown by the angle and type of line connecting the symbols. In this extended version, new symbols are proposed for additional hexoses and it is proposed that pyranose and furanose forms of the monosaccharides could be shown by solid or broken outlines to the symbols. Conventions for depicting the presence of multiple functional groups such as deoxy-(NH2)2 are also discussed. It is hoped that these proposals will stimulate discussion so that a consensus can be reached as to how the glycobiology community can best convey complex information in a simple manner.

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