773301 Organic chemistry and immunobiology of carbohydrates

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Zamyatina, Alla
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


Carbohydrates or saccharides constitute the most abundant group of compounds found in nature. Beside their role in energy storage, they form much of the structural framework of cells and tissues (cellulose, pectin, xylan, chitin, hyaluronan, etc.). Carbohydrates are also implicated in many important biological processes, such as signaling, cell-cell recognition, embryogenesis, viral and bacterial infections, tumour cell metastasis, etc.

Organic chemistry of carbohydrates.
•Monosaccharides, oligo- and polysaccharides and their conformations.
•Important chemical modifications and transformations of sugars:
•protecting group strategies, assembly of oligosaccharides by means of diverse glycosylation techniques, sugar phosphates, nucleoside diphosphate-activated sugars.
•Selected organic reactions on sugars and their application towards synthesis of biologically important compounds, glycoconjugates and carbohydrate microarrays.

Immunoreactive carbohydrate-containing natural compounds.
•Synthetic conjugated carbohydrate-based vaccines. Carbohydrate surface antigens.
•Blood group antigens. Oligosaccharide epitopes in cell biology.
•Immunobiology of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (endotoxin).
•Carbohydrate mimetics as investigation tool in drug discovery.
•Carbohydrate microarrays, glycomics.

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Introduction to the chemistry of carbohydrates with the emphasis on traditional carbohydrate chemistry and the recent achievements in the area, which led to the development of new synthetic carbohydrate-based vaccines. The main aspects of the chemistry of immunoreactive carbohydrate-containing natural compounds such as blood-group antigens, glycoproteins, glycolipids, bacterial lipopolysaccharides will be presented. Approaches to glycomimetics (non-natural glycostructures with improved properties) and carbohydrate microarrays, which are widely applied in basic research, drug discovery, diagnosis and glycomics (the study of full complements of carbohydrates in cells and tissues) will be discussed.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.