Importance of the Human Glycome Project for personalized medicine

Nov 6, 2018

Professor Lauc reminded in his lecture that the “Holy grail” of the personalized medicine – stratification of the patients– cannot be achieved solely on the basis of the gene analysis. He further highlighted the importance of other regulatory mechanisms through comparison of identical twins which have the same genome, but strikingly different appearance. This is where glycans step in – glycans are major drivers of interindividual differences. Their role is best illustrated through the existence of blood-groups. The type of the blood group (A, B, O) is determined through a coating of blood cells with different glycoproteins. If transfusion is done with the wrong blood-group, consequences can be fatal. Professor Lauc finished his lecture with the quote of US national academies from 2012. – pointing out once more the need for further research in the field of glycobiology. Only once we fill the enormous knowledge gap that is currently in place of the human glycome will we be able to integrate and successfully apply the information from human genome and proteome to the field of personalized medicine.