The physiological function initially attributed to the oligosaccharide moieties or glycans on inflammatory glycoproteins was to improve protein stability. However, it is now clear that glycans play a prominent role in glycoprotein structure and function and in some cases contribute to disease states. In fact, glycan processing contributes to pathogenicity not only in autoimmune disorders but also in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes and malignancy. While most clinical laboratory tests measure circulating levels of inflammatory proteins, newly developed diagnostic and prognostic tests are harvesting the information that can be gleaned by measuring the amount or structure of the attached glycans, which may be unique to individuals as well as various diseases. As such, these newer glycan-based tests may provide future means for more personalized approaches to patient stratification and improved patient care.Here we will discuss recent progress in high-throughput laboratory methods for glycomics (i.e. the study of glycan structures) and glycoprotein quantification by methods such as mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We will also review the clinical utility of glycoprotein and glycan measurements in the prediction of common low-grade inflammatory disorders including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as for monitoring autoimmune disease activity.
Connelly, M. A., Gruppen, E. G., Otvos, J. D., & Dullaart, R. P. F. (2016, August 1). Inflammatory glycoproteins in cardiometabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Clinica Chimica Acta. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2016.06.012