Oxford Glycobiology Institute
Current Research Programs - Structural Glycobiology

Dr David J. Harvey, MSc, PhD, DSc, CChem, FRSC - contact details
Reader, Oxford Glycobiology Institute

Dr Mark R. Wormald, MA (Oxon), D.Phil., CChem, MRSC - contact details
University Research Lecturer, Tutor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Corpus Christi College

Postdocs :
Dr Andre J. Petrescu (also at Institute of Biochemistry, Bucharest, Romania)
Graduate students :
Miss Victoria Hunnam
Mr Christopher Lawless
Mr Mukram Mackeen

The function of the Group is to provide a structural basis, at the molecular level, for the biochemical and biological research projects being carried out in the Institute.The main activities of the Group are;

  1. direct structural analysis, by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, of oligosaccharides and related compounds (for example glycosylated alkaloids or synthetic glycosidase inhibitors).
  2. characterisation of the conformational, dynamic and physico-chemical properties of biologically important oligosaccharides, glycopeptides and glycoproteins by NMR spectroscopy.
  3. use of computer based molecular modelling to aid with experimental data interpretation (either from biological or structural studies) and to provide a structural basis to discuss biochemical and biological results.
In order to facilitate these studies, new mass spectrometry based analysis techniques are also being developed and optimised. The facilities available include; a Finnigan LaserMat 2000, a VG AutoSpec QFPD mass spectrometers, a Micromass TofSpec 2E MALDI reflectron-TOF mass spectrometer, a Micromass Q-Tof electrospray mass spectrometer interfaced to a Waters Cap-LC liquid chromatography system, a Varian UNITY Inova 500 NMR spectrometer and a Silicon Graphics Indigo 2 workstation. Most of the problems that we work on are generated either by other groups within the Institute or by external collaborators and currently include;

Selected recent publications :

Sequencing of N-linked oligosaccharides directly from protein gels: In-gel deglycosylation followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry and normal-phase high performance liquid chromatography.
B. Kuster, S.F. Wheeler, A.P. Hunter, R.A. Dwek and D.J. Harvey (1997) Anal. Biochem., 250, 82-101.

The glycosylation of the complement regulatory protein, human erythrocytes CD59.
P.M. Rudd, B.P. Morgan, M.R. Wormald, D.J. Harvey, C.W. van den Berg, S.J. Davis, M.A.J. Ferguson and R.A. Dwek (1997) J. Biol. Chem., 272, 7229-7244.

Variations in oligosaccharide-protein interactions in immunoglobulin G determine the site-specific glycosylation profiles and modulate the dynamic motion of the Fc oligosaccharides.
M.R. Wormald, P.M. Rudd, D.J. Harvey, S.-C. Chang, I.G. Scragg and R.A. Dwek (1997) Biochemistry, 36, 1370-1380.

The solution NMR structure of glucosylated N-glycans involved in the early stages of glycoprotein biosynthesis and folding.
A.J. Petrescu, T.D. Butters, G. Reinkensmeier, S.M. Petrescu, F.M. Platt, R.A. Dwek and M.R. Wormald (1997) EMBO J., 16, 4302-4310.

Minireview - Glycoproteins: glycan presentation and protein-fold stability.
M.R. Wormald and R.A. Dwek (1999) Structure, 7, R155-R160.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry of carbohydrates.
D.J. Harvey (1999) Mass Spectrom. Rev., 18, 349-451.

Collision-induced fragmentation of underivatised N-linked carbohydrates ionized by electrospray.
D. J. Harvey (2000) J. Mass Spectrom., 35, 1178-1190.

Ionization and fragmentation of complex glycans with a Q-TOF mass spectrometer fitted with a MALDI ion source.
D. J. Harvey, R. H. Bateman, R. S. Bordoli and R. Tyldesley (2000) Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 14, 2135-2142.