Thesis by I.M.E. 't Hart MSc (Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery)

PhD defence: Chemical and chemoenzymatic synthesis of ganglioside(mimic)s and sulfoglycolipids

The research focus of this thesis is on the chemical and enzymatic syntheses of complex glycolipids. Complex glycolipids, such as gangliosides and sulfoglycolipids, reside in the cell membrane of nearly every cell in our body. We know that they are essential for functional nervous- and immune systems. Furthermore, glycolipids are involved in many diseases, such as cancer and the auto-immune disease Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Since a lot is still unknown on the exact functions and interactions of these substances, we searched for a way to obtain different glycolipids. Isolating glycolipids from cell membranes is difficult, due to the presence of hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts, negative charges and the presence of very similar glycolipids. It’s most likely that a mixture of similar glycolipids will be obtained when extracted from a natural source.

Chemical and enzymatic synthesis are better ways to obtain a pure glycolipid of interest. Enzymatic synthesis is efficient and provides pure materials, however not all structures can be obtained with the currently available enzymes. Chemical synthesis provides a way to acquire any desired glycolipid, but requires a proper strategy that includes many steps. Pure synthetic glycolipids can be immobilized onto a slide to study potential interactions with proteins and antibodies can then be studied. This microarray binding study provides a first impression of the roles of these biomolecules in cancer and auto-immune diseases.

Start date and time
End date and time
University Hall, Domplein 29
PhD candidate
I.M.E. 't Hart MSc
Chemical and chemoenzymatic synthesis of ganglioside(mimic)s and sulfoglycolipids
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. G.J.P.H. Boons