Date of Award

Winter 2009

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Vernon N Reinhold


The formation of glycoconjugates, lipids or proteins covalently linked to carbohydrate groups in biological systems, is a universal process in every form of life studied to date. The carbohydrate moiety of glycoconjugates range in complexity from single monomers to intricately branched structures containing over a dozen residues. This complexity is further compounded by the incorporation of several different monomer types with varying linkage positions and branching patterns. The number of possible carbohydrate structures is astronomical providing significant challenges to characterize, study, and catalog these molecules. Furthermore, assigning biological consequence can be a daunting task considering the numerous interactions caused by the infinite number of biochemical reactions. Methods often focus on one type of glycoconjugate or even a single structure help understand such complexity. The projects described here will attempt to examine the role of the lipid-linked oligosaccharide (LLO) pathway in the formation of N-glycans from a genetic and structural perspective.