Summary: Cells are highly decorated with glycans (carbohydrates) and this complex and dominating coating on cells, which also carries the glycan blood group antigens, is critically important to immunology and many related clinical practices such as transfusion, transplantation and immunotherapy. The ability to modify this glycan coat is difficult to achieve with standard techniques like molecular biology or direct chemical ligation, particularly as glycosylation is probably the most complex secondary gene event in a cell. However, the natural ability of lipid-linked structures to self-insert and hydrophobically anchor into cell membranes opened up the opportunity to develop synthetic Function-Spacer-Lipid technology for cell surface modification. From this glycan modification aspect Kode Technology has been used to add glycan related blood group antigens such as ABO, Lewis, P, FORS, as well as sialooligosaccharides and hyaluronic acid onto cells to study immunology and cell glycosylation and more recently as a potential immuno-oncotherapeutic therapy.
Stephen M. Henry & Nicolai V. Bovin, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2018), 49:2, 100-113