Glycosylation, or the attachment of glycans (sugars) to proteins, is the most abundant post-translational modification in nature and plays a pivotal role in protein folding and activity. Glycans are involved in almost every human disease and biological process. Glycosylation is also important in biotechnology; about 70% of protein therapeutics approved or in development are glycosylated.
By merging bottom-up engineering design principles with innovative molecular biology methodologies in a cell-free environment, we seek to create a simplified framework for studying and engineering glycosylation. Our envisioned platform will broaden the glycoengineering toolkit, facilitate discovery of the structural and functional consequences of glycan attachment, and enable a new era of applications in glycoprotein therapeutics and conjugate vaccines.