The three-dimensional glycan structures dynamically fluctuate in aqueous solutions. The dynamics of these molecular structures govern the interactions with sugar-recognizing molecules and are deeply involved in regulating the functions of sugar-bearing proteins. In glycotechnology and drug discovery targeting the glycan recognition systems, it is crucial to quantitatively understand the conformation of glycans bound to target molecules and the three-dimensional structural dynamics of unbound glycans. By modifying the conformational space of unbound glycans, it is possible to improve their affinity for lectins. Furthermore, the glycans constituting a glycoprotein also influence the conformational dynamics of the protein part. Therefore, in the molecular design of glycoproteins aiming for higher functionality, it is essential to consider the existence of an intramolecular interaction network where the glycan chains and the protein are integrated. Approaches from the perspective of experimental science, computational science, and information science will become increasingly important to decipher the biological information carried by the four-dimensional structures of glycans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry