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Toolboxes for a standardised and systematic study of glycans

Journal article
Authors Matthew P Campbell
René Ranzinger
Thomas Lütteke
Julien Mariethoz
Catherine A Hayes
Jingyu Zhang
Yukie Akune
Kiyoko F Aoki-Kinoshita
David Damerell
Giorgio Carta
Will S York
Stuart M Haslam
Hisashi Narimatsu
Pauline M Rudd
Niclas G. Karlsson
Nicolle H Packer
Frédérique Lisacek
Published in BMC Bioinformatics
Volume 15
Issue Suppl. 1
Pages S9
ISSN 1471-2105
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Pages S9
Language en
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Abstract Background Recent progress in method development for characterising the branched structures of complex carbohydrates has now enabled higher throughput technology. Automation of structure analysis then calls for software development since adding meaning to large data collections in reasonable time requires corresponding bioinformatics methods and tools. Current glycobioinformatics resources do cover information on the structure and function of glycans, their interaction with proteins or their enzymatic synthesis. However, this information is partial, scattered and often difficult to find to for non-glycobiologists. Methods Following our diagnosis of the causes of the slow development of glycobioinformatics, we review the "objective" difficulties encountered in defining adequate formats for representing complex entities and developing efficient analysis software. Results Various solutions already implemented and strategies defined to bridge glycobiology with different fields and integrate the heterogeneous glyco-related information are presented. Conclusions Despite the initial stage of our integrative efforts, this paper highlights the rapid expansion of glycomics, the validity of existing resources and the bright future of glycobioinformatics.

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