chapter  13
61 Pages

Glycobiology and biochromatography

Carbohydrates, together with proteins, lipids and nucleic acids are the fourth class of constituents of living matter. As far back as the middle of the nineteenth century scientists launched very active research because of their economic importance, and the industry of high polymers such as starch, cellulose, and pectins rapidly developed. In addition, at the end of the last century, the interest of scientists turned to a new class of complex carbohydrates, widely distributed, having various physiological activities, and playing an important role in the social life of cells: the glycoconjugates. These substances are constituents of numerous biological fluids and of all biomembranes. They are recognition signals and markers of cancer and are the underlying principles for numerous diseases. So were born two new words and domains, those of Glycobiology and of Glycopathology.