Video tip of the week: Functional Glycomics Gateway

Usually we have a 5 minute introduction to some resource–but this week’s tip of the week is MUCH more than that. We are officially announcing our newest tutorial suite on the Functional Glycomics Gateway, freely available to everyone because it is sponsored by the Consortium for Functional Glycomics. From the suite landing page, click on the “Launch Online Tutorial” button to view the movie.

This material covers a completely new topic area for us. We always learn something when doing these tutorials, and we’re sure there are things you don’t know about glycomics or the available resources. There are a number of important features to this resource, including several interfaces that will let you access details about key molecule types such as glycan binding proteins, glycosyltransferases, and glycan structures. One particularly cool tool that was new to me is the “structure search”. I mean, I’ve used probably every sequence search tool around–but how do you search for something that’s not linear, but branched? Think about that. At the CFG’s site you can use their structure search tool to accomplish this. One chapter of the tutorial will introduce you to that.

Data that has been generated by consortium researchers is available to you from this site. Glycan binding, profiling, microarray data, and knockout mouse phenotyping has been done—and it’s all available to you at their site. There are also collections of knowledge organized in various ways that will support investigators and students in this arena.

The tutorial is about an hour long. You can download the slides and use them in your classes. There are exercises that will help you work through some of the basic tasks.

The references below will help you to understand the project background and philosophies. And if you are entirely new to glycomics you should note that there’s a terrific text freely available from the NCBI Bookshelf that will give you great background information. We also refer to that in our tutorial because it will help you with nomenclature and symbology in this field.

Go and learn about glycomics. Free.

Quick links:

CFG tutorial suite:

Consortium for Functional Glycomics Gateway:


Raman, R., Raguram, S., Venkataraman, G., Paulson, J., & Sasisekharan, R. (2005). Glycomics: an integrated systems approach to structure-function relationships of glycans Nature Methods, 2 (11), 817-824 DOI: 10.1038/nmeth807

Raman, R., Venkataraman, M., Ramakrishnan, S., Lang, W., Raguram, S., & Sasisekharan, S. (2006). Advancing glycomics: Implementation strategies at the Consortium for Functional Glycomics Glycobiology, 16 (5), 82-90 DOI: 10.1093/glycob/cwj080

Varki A, Cummings RD, Esko JD, Freeze HH, Stanley P, Bertozzi CR, Hart GW, & Etzler ME (2009). Essentials of Glycobiology, 2nd edition Cold Spring Harbor (NY): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 2009. PMID: 20301239