Bioconjugation Reactions in Living Cells: Development, Advances, and Applications of Glycan-Specific Technologies

Laura Alberch, Kevin J. Yarema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Bioorthogonal ligation reactions, in which synthetic organic chemistry can be accomplished in a physiological milieu including in living cells and animals, have flourished over the past two decades or so with the development of a profusion of coupling partners. This chapter gives an overview of bioorthogonal ligations including the best known example of this approach-the azide-alkyne "click" reaction-but also covers lesser known, more specialized, and recently emerging chemical advances in this field. Although a bioorthogonal ligation approach is proving broadly useful to address many biological and biomedical problems, its use in glycobiology is particularly significant. Accordingly this chapter focuses on examples where this approach is already being used to, or has the potential to, label cell surface glycans for a variety of research (e.g., in vitro and in vivo visualization of glycans) and medical applications (e.g., diagnosis and treatment of cancer and use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicro-and Nanoengineering of the Cell Surface
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781455731558
ISBN (Print)9781455731466
StatePublished - Jun 6 2014


  • Bioorthogonal ligation
  • Cancer therapy
  • Carbohydrates
  • Click chemistry
  • Metabolic oligosaccharide engineering
  • Photoaffinity labeling
  • Staudinger ligation
  • Stem cell research
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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