Glycoproteins and glycolipids have many functions in human physiology and disease and the expression of the glycans on cell surface molecules are known to change during early embryonic development. Embryonic stem cells, derived from early embryos, can be grown in vitro and induced to differentiate into many cell types. Controlling this differentiation and producing homogeneous populations of differentiated stem cells are major challenges for the biomedical community. This Resource was established by the National Center for Research Resources to develop the tools and technology to analyze in detail the glycoprotein and glycolipid expression of mouse embryonic stem cells and the cells into which they differentiate. The technology developed in the Center will allow an understanding of how glycosylation is controlled during differentiation and will allow the development of tools to promote the use of stem cells to treat human disease. In addition, the technology developed will be applicable to the study of other cell types, including cancer cells that are progressing to a more invasive phenotype. The technology developed will also allow others in the scientific community to participate in glycomics research through dissemination of the new methods developed and through the analytical services provided by the resource to other scientists requesting assistance in glycomic analyses.
J. Michael Pierce
Technical Director / Analytical Services
University of Georgia
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
315 Riverbend Road Athens, GA 30602-4712