Glycan Structures

KEGG GLYCAN is a collection of glycan structures, first created by taking unique structures from CarbBank and then expanded with other structures based on published materials, especially those structures present in KEGG pathways. Each structure is identified by the G number, such as G00242 for sialyl Lewis x, and displayed with predefined monosaccharide codes shown below. The structure may also be converted to the SNFG (Symbol Nomenclature for Glycans) representation by clicking on the SNFG button.

Glycan Biosynthesis and Metabolism

KEGG GLYCAN is tightly integrated with other KEGG resources, including KEGG PATHWAY, KEGG MODULE, KEGG NETWORK and KEGG DISEASE. In the KEGG PATHWAY database the section of: contains metabolic pathway maps for glycans. In addition to the regular pathway map, a different representation of glycan biosynthesis or degradation is sometimes presented. It is called the "glycan structure map", showing genes (or KOs) responsible for bond formation or breakage are shown. For example, N-glycan biosynthesis is shown both as a pathway map and a structure map in map00510. Furthermore, this map is linked to disease information in the form of network variation map nt06015 containing disease-related gene variants of H00118.

The following datasets indicate relationships among pathways, structures and biosynthetic genes.

Glycans in Other Pathways

The roles of glycans in various cellular processes may be examined with other types of pathway maps in the KEGG PATHWAY database, such as: The roles of glycans in cancers are represented in a KEGG pathway map for: and a BRITE table file for: Different types of glycan binding proteins are classified as follows:

KCaM Search Tool

KCaM is a database search program for similar glycan structures. It can be used to search against KEGG GLYCAN or CarbBank. A query glycan structure may be entered with the KegDraw tool.

  1. Hashimoto, K., Goto, S., Kawano, S., Aoki-Kinoshita, K.F., Ueda, N., Hamajima, M., Kawasaki, T., and Kanehisa, M.; KEGG as a glycome informatics resource. Glycobiology 16, 63R-70R (2006). [pubmed] [pdf]
  2. Kanehisa, M.; KEGG GLYCAN. In "A Practical Guide to Using Glycomics Databases" (Aoki-Kinoshita, K.F., ed.), pp. 177-193, Springer (2017).
  3. Hashimoto, K., Kawano, S., Goto, S., Aoki-Kinoshita, K., Kawashima, M., and Kanehisa, M.; A global representation of the carbohydrate structures: a tool for the analysis of glycan. Genome Informatics 16(1), 214-222 (2005). [pubmed]
  4. Hashimoto, K., Tokimatsu, T., Kawano, S., Yoshizawa, A.C., Okuda, S., Goto, S., and Kanehisa, M.; Comprehensive analysis of glycosyltransferases in eukaryotic genomes for structural and functional characterization of glycans. Carbohydr. Res. 344, 881-887 (2009). [pubmed]
  5. Aoki, K.F., Yamaguchi, A., Ueda, N., Akutsu, T., Mamitsuka, H., Goto, S., and Kanehisa, M.; KCaM (KEGG Carbohydrate Matcher): a software tool for analyzing the structures of carbohydrate sugar chains. Nucleic Acids Res. 32, W267-W272 (2004). [pubmed] [pdf]

Last updated: July 25, 2022