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Villalobo, A.; Gabius, Hans-Joachim (1998): Signaling pathways for transduction of the initial message of the glycocode into cellular responses. In: Acta Anatomica, No. 1-4: pp. 110-129


The sugar units of glycan structures store information and establish an alphabet of life. The language of the oligosaccharide coding units is deciphered by receptors such as lectins and the decoded message can be transduced by multiple signaling pathways. Similar to glycoconjugates, these receptors can exhibit pronounced changes in quantitative and qualitative aspects of expression, as attested by a wealth of lectin and immunohistochemical studies. Since histochemistry provides a static picture, it is essential to shed light on the mechanisms of how a recognitive protein-carbohydrate interplay can be transduced into cellular responses. Their consequences for example for cell morphology will then be visible to the histochemist. Therefore, basic signaling routes will be graphically outlined and their trigger potential will be explained by selected examples from the realm of glycosciences.