Chronic inflammation is the main feature of many long-term inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancer. There is a growing number of studies in which alterations of N-glycosylation have been observed in many pathophysiological conditions, yet studies of the underlying mechanisms that precede N-glycome changes are still sparse. Proinflammatory cytokines have been shown to alter the substrate synthesis pathways as well as the expression of glycosyltransferases required for the biosynthesis of N-glycans. The resulting N-glycosylation changes can further contribute to disease pathogenesis through modulation of various aspects of immune cell processes, including those relevant to pathogen recognition and fine-tuning the inflammatory response. This review summarizes our current knowledge of inflammation-induced N-glycosylation changes, with a particular focus on specific subsets of immune cells of innate and adaptive immunity and how these changes affect their effector functions, cell interactions, and signal transduction.
Keywords: N-glycans; N-glycosylation; cytokines; immunity; immunoglobulins; inflammation; leukocytes.
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