Antigens: Carbohydrates


Carbohydrate antigens are polymeric chains of diverse monomeric sugar molecules. Carbohydrate antigens can induce antibody production without the help of T lymphocytes and are also recognized by cell‐surface lectins.

Keywords: carbohydrates; neutral glycolipids; gangliosides; N‐linked glycoproteins; O‐linked glycoproteins; polysialic acids

Figure 1.

Structure and relationship of neutral glycosphingolipids.

Figure 2.

Structure and biosynthesis of gangliosides.

Figure 3.

Structure of the ABH blood group antigens showing linear and branched determinants.

Figure 4.

Association of blood group antigens with lactosylceramide, globoside, lacto‐N‐tetraoside.

Figure 5.

Structure of ABH blood group antigens associated with ceramides and erythrocyte glycoproteins band 3, band 4.5.

Figure 6.

O‐Glycan associated blood group antigen determinants (T, Th, Tn, sialyl‐Tn and Cad).



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Further Reading

Muramatsu T (1993) Carbohydrate signals in metastasis and prognosis of human carcinomas. Glycobiology 3: 294–296.

Oettgen HF (1989) Gangliosides and Cancer. New York: VCH.

Ravindranath MH and Morton DL (1997) Immunogenicity of membrane‐bound gangliosides in viable whole‐cell vaccines. Cancer Investigation 15: 491–499.

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Ravindranath, Mepur H, and Morton, Donald L(Apr 2001) Antigens: Carbohydrates. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000500]