Development of a new Molecular Therapy for Diseases From a Glycoscience Point of View

When: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 11:30 am

Where: D'Iorio Hall, room 214


The cell surface of any living organism is covered by thick sugar layers (~140nm), called glycocalyx. Thus, any molecules, microorganisms, or cells first encounter the glycocalyx before they physically interact with the target molecules or cells. Many biological regulations are directly or indirectly regulated by the interaction between oligo (or poly)-saccharides in the glycocalyx and sugar-binding proteins, lectins. In this talk, I will talk about our journey to understand the role of a lectin, called galectin-3 or Mac-2 in infectious diseases and muscular dystrophy. In the first part, I will briefly talk on the role of galectin-3 in the early migration of neutrophils to the site of infection. In the second part, I would like to present our recent results suggesting that a monosaccharide, N-acetylglucosamine increases myogenesis and the force production of muscle of Duchenne muscular dystrophy by augmenting the interaction between galectin-3 and its oligosaccharide ligands. Our findings raise the exciting therapeutic possibility that N-acetylglucosamine might be used as a therapy to mitigate the progression of the muscular dystrophy.


Prof. Sachiko Sato, Research Centres for Infectious Diseases, CRCHU de Québec, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Canada


Graduated from Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Chiba University. After working in Nippon Hoffman-la-Roche Research Centre in Kamakura, she joined as postgraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Akira Kobata, the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, Japan in 1987. She also worked in the laboratory of Dr. R. Colin Hughes, MRC: National Institute for Medical Research in London, UK. She obtained her Ph. D. from the University of Tokyo in 1994. As postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ron Kopito, Stanford University, she was involved in the work on cystic fibrosis that established the precedent that a genetic disease can be remediated by a chemical mean for the first time. This concept has been elaborated as “corrector” treatment for cystic fibrosis. After her post-doc training in Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Laval University, Quebec, Canada, she became principal investigator of the laboratory of glycobiology in this centre in 1999 and is full professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University.

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