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GlycoPRIME: Accelerating Protein Therapeutic Development

November 28, 2019 / Technology Networks

Glycosylation -- the attachment of sugars to proteins -- plays a critical role in both cellular function and in the development of therapeutics, like vaccines. But because researchers have used mammalian cells to create the biosynthetic pathways (sets of enzyme catalysts) to build and study these sugar structures, the process has historically taken a long time and has required specialized laboratory equipment. Northwestern Engineering researchers have now developed a quick, cell-free system to build and study these pathways. Called GlycoPRIME, the system could lead to faster development of therapeutics and a new, modular way to make medicines on demand in resource-limited settings. "This is an exciting new method that accelerates the design and engineering of potential medicines and vaccines using glycosylation," said Michael Jewett, the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, professor of chemical and biological engineering, and director of Northwestern&#...