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From The CriticsReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: The field of glycobiology has lagged somewhat behind that of protein and nucleic acid biology primarily because of the technical difficulties associated with saccharide chemistry.
Purpose: This volume highlights several recent developments in the area and can serve as an introduction to current work. The focus is on the role of glycoconjugates in recognition, regulation, and development.
Audience: Investigators interested in the areas discussed will find authoritative reviews with helpful bibliographies.
Features: The first chapter reviews the structures of N- and O-linked glycans. This is followed by sections on the function of cell surface carbohydrates in recognition and development. A discussion of deficiency diseases reviews recent work on specific enzymatic defects that lead to incompletely glycosylated proteins. A chapter on transgenic animals reviews what is currently known about knockouts. There is a short discussion of the role of some glycolipids, cytosolic O-glycosylation, and a recap of potential saccharide based drugs.
Assessment: The volume makes no attempt to be comprehensive and does not discuss recent work on proteoglycans or studies on the conformational effects of saccharide substitution on proteins. Those interested in the role of these molecules in plants will turn elsewhere.