Glycoconjugates is the general classification for carbohydrates covalently linked with other chemical species such as proteins, peptides, lipids and saccharides. Glycoconjugates are formed in processes termed glycosylation.
Glycoconjugates are very important compounds in biology and consist of many different categories such as glycoproteins, glycopeptides, peptidoglycans, glycolipids, glycosides and lipopolysaccharides. They are involved in cell–cell interactions, including cell–cell recognition; in cell–matrix interactions; in detoxification processes.
Generally the carbohydrate part(s) play an integral role in the function of a glycoconjugate; prominent examples of this are NCAM and blood proteins where fine details in the carbohydrate structure determine cell binding or not or lifetime in circulation.
Glycocojugates is covalent linking of carbohydrates antigens to protein scaffolds with goal of achieving a long term immunological response in body. Immunization with glycoconjugates successfully induced long term immune memory against carbohydrates antigens. Glycoconjugate vaccines introduced since the 1990s have yielded effective results against influenza and meningococcus.