The research on post translational modification has been focused on the dynamics of the intracellular phosphorylation. The role of phosphorylation as regulator of cellular events is undisputed, but there is an obvious need for transmitting intracellular events to extracellular mediators Dr Karlssons group is exploring the role of sulfated oligosaccharides in extracellular signaling in inflammation/infection using model systems and clinical samples and utilizing sophisticated high sensitive mass spectrometry. Mucin type sulfation is most famously known in the homing of lymphocytes to peripheral lymph nodes mediated by sulfated oligosaccharides on special endothelium developed during inflammation called high endothelial venules. The initial binding of the lymphocytes to sulfated oligosaccharides is via L-selectin. However, other examples for the biological role of sulfation on mucosal surface glycoconjugates are scarce, but this is more a reflection of the lack of analytical tools then lack of biological importance. Locking into rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis we found a sulfomucin identified as Lubricin in synovial fluid and we are currently exploring its role in these diseases.
In order to explore the role of glycosylation for extracellular signalling we are using mass spectrometry and are developing mass spectrometric tools and databases. The development of UniCarb-DB is a collaboration of researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Macquarie University (Biomolecular Frontiers Research Centre), Australia; Proteome Informatics Group (Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics) and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), Ireland.
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