The glycans of the human retina and their interaction with complement factor H

Principal Investigator

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
California, United States


  • Pascal  Gagneux, PhD

    Pascal Gagneux, PhD

Project Goals

All cells in the human body are covered in a complex sugar coat, the glycocalyx. This molecular coat is crucial for cell-to-cell communication and immune surveillance. An underlying mechanism of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the dysregulation of the innate immune system. The glycocalyx is involved in regulating these systems. Currently, we don’t know the precise composition of the sugar coats on cells in the eye at the site where AMD occurs. We will characterize the glycocalyx of diseased and healthy eyes to test whether differences contribute to immunological consequences.

Project Summary

Glycans, the complex carbohydrates that form the “sugar coat” on the outside of cells, provide one of the first points of contact for cell-to-cell communication and define molecular patterns on each cell. Firstly, we will characterize the glycans of the retina using mass spectrometry. We will also map and quantitate the distribution of sialic acid linkage using immunohistochemical methods utilizing sialoglycan recognition probes. Lastly, we hypothesize that modifications of these glycans will alter the interaction with CFH, we will test this by manipulating the glycans on iPS-RPE cell.


First published on: May 15, 2024

Last modified on: July 22, 2024