Alteration of brain glycoproteins during aging


Dr Tamao Endo PhD, Molecular Glycobiology, Research Team for Mechanism of Aging, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, 35-2 Sakaecho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan. Email:


Glycosylation is the most common post-translational modification of proteins. Protein sequence data suggested that more than half of all proteins produced in mammalian cells are glycoproteins. Recent studies showed that glycans of secreted glycoproteins affect many protein properties, such as solubility, stability, protease sensitivity and polarity, whereas glycans on cell-surface glycoproteins are involved in various cellular functions, including cell–cell communication. Accordingly, the investigation of glycoprotein changes caused by aging is expected to help understand the aging process and to elucidate age-associated diseases. The present review will summarize our current knowledge of changes found in brain glycoproteins resulting from the aging process. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2010; 10 (Suppl. 1): S32–S40.