Exploration of sialic acid diversity and biology using sialoglycan microarrays

Lingquan Deng, Xi Chen, Ajit Varki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Sialic acids (Sias) are a group of α-keto acids with a nine-carbon backbone, which display many types of modifications in nature. The diversity of natural Sia presentations is magnified by a variety of glycosidic linkages to underlying glycans, the sequences and classes of such glycans, as well as the spatial organization of Sias with their surroundings. This diversity is closely linked to the numerous and varied biological functions of Sias. Relatively large libraries of natural and unnatural Sias have recently been chemically/ chemoenzymatically synthesized and/or isolated from natural sources. The resulting sialoglycan microarrays have proved to be valuable tools for the exploration of diversity and biology of Sias. Here we provide an overview of Sia diversity in nature, the approaches used to generate sialoglycan microarrays, and the achievements and challenges arising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-665
Number of pages16
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • diversity
  • sialic acids
  • sialoglycan microarrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


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