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Journal Article

The promise of protein glycosylation for personalised medicine


Almeida,  Andreia
Daniel Kolarich, Biomolekulare Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;


Kolarich,  Daniel
Daniel Kolarich, Biomolekulare Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Almeida, A., & Kolarich, D. (2016). The promise of protein glycosylation for personalised medicine. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1860(8), 1583-1595. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2016.03.012.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-2299-8
Background Complex diseases such as cancer are a consequence of numerous causes. State of the art personalised medicine approaches are mostly based on evaluating patients' individual genetic background. Despite the advances of genomics it fails to take individual dynamic influences into account that contribute to the individual and unique glycomic and glycoproteomic “configurations” of every living being. Scope of review Glycomic and glycoproteomic-based personalised medicine diagnostics are still in their infancies, however some initial success stories indicate that these fields are highly promising to mediate novel early diagnosis and disease stratification markers, subsequently resulting in improved patient well-being and reduced treatment costs. In this review we not only summarise current protein glycosylation based examples that substantially improve or possess great potential for personalised medicine, but also describe current limitations as well as future perspectives and challenges associated with establishing protein glycosylation aspects for this purpose. Major conclusions Many protein biomarkers currently in clinical use are glycoproteins, however, their glycosylation status is seldom evaluated in a clinical context. To date just few examples have already been successfully translated into clinical practice, making protein glycosylation a highly promising diagnostic target with humongous potential for personalised medicine. General significance There is an urgent need for markers that enable the establishment of an individualised and optimised patient treatment at the earliest disease stage possible. The glycosylation status of a patient and/or specific marker proteins can provide important clues that result in improved patient management. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Glycans in personalised medicine”.