Part 1: The complexity of an organism is, in a large part, the result of post-translational modifications such as glycosylation. The sugars or glycans of a cell are complex stuctures that change during physiological transformations. Cell surface glycans are important in normal physiology; for example they determine blood group in humans. They are also important in disease including numerous inflammatory conditions and infections such as influenza. Bertozzi gives an excellent lecture that is suitable for undergraduate or graduate students.
Imaging the Glycome
Part 2: Glycans are not incoded by the genome and hence they cannot be labelled with genetically encoded probes such as GFP. Instead, glycans must be labelled with chemical reporters. In this lecture, Bertozzi explains the chemical reactions which have allowed specific cell surface glycans to be labelled. In fact, recent work has made it possible to visualize changing glycans in intact zebra fish embryos during development. This lecture is appropriate for graduate students studying cell biology, developmental biology or chemistry.