Glycoprotein modification

Because glycoproteins mediate numerous biological process (e.g., the immune response, cancer cell metastasis, and bacterial and viral adhesion) the long-term goal of this research is to develop our photoactivatable sources of organic radicals as agents to modify the sugar moieties of glycoproteins as a method of controlling their biological activities.

 Our initial work in this area has revolved around studying the photoinduced radical modification of the sugars of RNase B, for "proof of principle." This glycoprotein, which is shown to the left, is ideal for initial studies, because its structure is known, there are numerous published assays for its enzymatic activity, and its nonglycosylated analogue (RNase A) is also commercially available. We have some encouraging preliminary data that show that we are able to modify the protein and that this modification affects its activity.