The projects include 1) synthesis of carbohydrates, glycopeptides, semi-synthetic glycoproteins and glycomimetics; 2) studies of disease relevant protein-carbohydrate interactions; 3) development of glycoproteomic tools and methodology.
Total synthesis is combined with an enzymatic approach to prepare complex carbohydrates, glycopeptides and semi-synthetic glycoproteins. By using synthetic molecules structural details in protein-carbohydrate interactions are explored, which are relevant in infections, inflammation, cancer and aging. In addition to understand disease mechanisms, an ultimate aim in our projects is to develop glycomimetic inhibitors to block specific protein-carbohydrate interactions for instance to address the current problems with antimicrobial resistance in airway disease infections.
We further apply synthetic glycopeptides and semi-synthetic glycoproteins to develop glycoproteomic tools for improved enrichment and characterization of glycan structural isomers of glycoproteins and for studies of new PTMs. Small differences in carbohydrate structure has an enormous impact on biological function, for instance in turning on or off an inflammatory pathway and makes the difference beetween being healthy or diseased. More efficient and specific glycoprotein characterization are of enormous importance for new biomarker discovery and for production of safe protein therapeutics (monoclonal antibodies or coagulation factors).