Current Stage of Commercial Glycan Microarrays
Glycan–protein interactions mediate many essential biological processes, including pathogenic infections, immune responses, cell adhesion and signaling. In addition, many lectins and glycan-binding proteins (GBPs) are extensively used as probing tools and diagnostic reagents to detect and isolate target glycans. An in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying such processes and proper applications of GBPs in glycomics heavily rely on comprehensive knowledge of the specificity of such GBPs. Since first described by several groups independently in 2002, glycan microarrays have revolutionized the analysis of glycan–protein interactions, providing informative data on specificities of GBPs in a high-throughput manner. While many research groups have developed their own glycan arrays with numerous immobilized glycoforms, there is an increasing gap between available arrays and fast-growing demands in various research areas. Regardless of its preliminary stage and very limited products available compared to nucleotide and protein microarrays, commercial sources may fill such a gap. This chapter focuses on current commercially available glycan microarrays and their potential application.