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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Carbohydrate Receptors and Ligands - Research Groups

Helge: I'll return to this post and write more... Need to hurry to train station to receive Olli arriving from Oulu.

Carbohydrate Receptors and Ligands - Research Groups: "Carbohydrate Receptors and Ligands Principal Investigator: Jukka Finne, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medical Biochemistry Department of Medical Biochemistry University of Turku Kiinamyllynkatu 10 FI-20520 Turku Tel.: +358 2 333 7240 Fax: +358 2 333 7229 E-mail: jukka.finne@utu.fi

Project Description: The goal is to characterise the biological roles cell surface glycoconjugates focusing on the molecular mechanisms of the interactions of carbohydrates with their ligands. The main topics are the role of carbohydrates like polysialic acid in neural cell interactions, and the adhesion of bacteria to host cells.

Polysialic acid is a neurodevelopmental carbohydrate antigen shared by the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM and the capsular polysaccharides of meningitis-causing bacteria. It appears to regulate cell interactions in neural tissue. Its role in the pathogenesis of meningitis is not known. We aim at revealing the role of polysialic acid in normal neural tissue and pathological situations like stroke and neural tumours, as well as the development of meningitis. On the other hand meningitis-causing and other pathogenic bacteria attach to their tissue receptors by the binding of their adhesin molecules to specific sugar ligands on cell surfaces. Characterisation of these molecular interactions sheds light into the pathog..."
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