It is known that glycans play crucial roles in almost all known biological processes, and they are a target for biotherapeutics as well as for biofuels and biomaterials. Therefore, the information about these complex carbohydrates are important to organize carefully and comprehensively integrate with other molecular data.
Since the development of CarbBank over thirty years ago, a plethora of glycan-related databases have been developed, each with their unique set of metadata regarding glycan structure, localization and function. The development of the glycan structure repository GlyTouCan greatly aided in organizing this data to allow glycan information to be shared more easily among researchers and databases.
Subsequently, the year 2018 is particular marked the announcement of three major glycan-related database integration projects: Glyco@Expasy funded by Swiss public sources including the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, GlyGen funded by the US National Institutes of Health, and GlyCosmos funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. In order to ensure that these projects do not duplicate efforts, the GlySpace Alliance consisting of these three groups was established in August, 2018.
Washington DC, USA
The GlyGen portal was launched in 2019 with a focus on resources for studying the glycome and glycoproteome in human, mouse, rat and viruses. It is developed with an extensive data integration component spanning multiple other -omics sources. It is introduced further here and detailed here.
The GlyCosmos portal provides access to data and knowledge in glycoscience, including glycan-related genes, proteins, lipids, glycomes, pathways and diseases. The content is split into a section for repositories, and a section for data resources covering the various glycan-related databases and integrated datasets. The portal is introduced in this article. Among the unique features of GlyCosmos is the hosting of GlyTouCan, the universal glycan structure repository.
The Glyco@Expasy portal was initially released in 2016 as Glycomics@ExPASy described in this article. In order to match the evolution of the ExPASy server created in 1993 as described here and restructured several times (the latest being in 2020 as detailed here), Glycomics@ExPASy was redesigned and became Glyco@Expasy in 2021 to support users in finding resources relevant to their needs.
GlySpace Alliance, 2019-2023