Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis is still not well understood. It is considered to result from genetic susceptibility, environment, microbiota composition and aberrant immune response. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), forms of IBD, are sometimes indistinguishable by typical laboratory and clinical characteristics making timely diagnosis and subsequent therapy hit-and-miss. Glycosylation has shown a promising biomarker potential for early IBD diagnosis and effective response to treatment prediction.
Scope of review: This mini-review briefly covers present knowledge of IBD pathophysiology, with a focus on recent research on the role of glycosylation in IBD pathogenesis and disease progression.
Major conclusions: Aberrant glycosylation significantly changes functionality of key proteins in intestinal niche and is involved in IBD etiology.
General significance: Elucidating mechanisms of IBD development is one of critical goals in managing this disease. Glycans are important for fine-tuning of intestinal processes that ensure homeostatic conditions which, if disrupted, lead to IBD.
Keywords: Crohn's disease; Glycomics; Glycosylation; Inflammatory bowel disease; Pathogenesis; Ulcerative colitis.
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