Translating Glycomics Into Clinical Practice

The Use of N-Glycan Measurement for the Assessment of Liver Disease

Wednesday, August 7, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Anaheim Marriott, Platinum Ballroom 3
Supported by Helena Laboratories


Glycomics is the comprehensive study of the glycome. The human glycome is extremely complex and includes the entire compliment of sugars whether in free form, or attached to proteins, lipids, or other molecules. The study includes genetic, physiologic, pathologic, and other aspects of many sugars in all their complex forms. Forms include all types of free sugars as well as linear and branched sugar complexes, which may be continuously modified creating complexities not seen in other areas of applied biology. Because of the complexities, it has been difficult to translate glycomics into clinical practice. One area where some success has been achieved is in associations between serum N-glycans and liver disease. Since most proteins in the serum are produced and glycosylated in the liver, it makes sense that serum glycans may reflect liver physiology and pathology.

In this session, we will review research linking N-glycans to liver diseases including liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and fatty liver disease. We will describe a capillary electrophoresis method which has been developed to measure N-glycans in serum which, after further study, may be applied to assess liver disease in clinical practice. Fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are becoming increasingly more common and have been shown to have strong association with diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, disease states which have reached epidemic proportion. It can be hypothesized that N-glycans could be related to multiple chronic disease states. In this session, the speaker will discuss laboratory-based potential association studies that could identify chronic disease states like diabetes, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, autoimmune disease, etc. where serum N-glycan measurement may have application.


Robert S. Galen, MD, MPH
Professor Emeritus
College of Public Health-University of Georgia
Athens, GA


Joseph P. McConnell, PhD, DABCC, MT-ASCP
Chairman & Chief Scientific Officer
Salveo Diagnostics
Glenn Allen, VA