Glycoproteins: what are the sugar chains for?

Trends Biochem Sci. 1989 Jul;14(7):272-6. doi: 10.1016/0968-0004(89)90062-5.


For many glycoproteins, the carbohydrate groups confer important physical properties such as conformational stability, protease resistance, charge and water-binding capacity. Equally important, however, are the roles of carbohydrate groups in biological recognition, where sequence diversity provides signals for protein targeting and cell-cell interactions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis


  • Glycoproteins
  • Oligosaccharides