Seminario We are held together by carbohydrate strings by J.E. Scott



Oggi 24 ottobre presso l’aula seminari del Dipartimento di Bioingegneria alle ore 11.00 si svolgerà un seminario dal titolo We are held together by carbohydrate strings. Implications in physiology and pathology tenuto dal Prof John Scott uno dei maggiori esperti nel settore dei glicolipidi.

Without reproducible permanent shapes central functions (digestive, circulatory, nervous) could not have evolved. Animal shapes are maintained by the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissues. ECM shapes depend on getting collagen fibrils into the right places and keeping them there, held by regular, frequent and specifically located bridges or ties made of proteoglycans (PGs). These carry the anionic glycosaminoglycan (AGAG) strings that span the interfibrillar spaces, helping to maintain ordered fibrillar matrices and hence shape. They are present throughout the animal kingdom, even in remote animals, e.g. echinoderms.The strings are ‘spliced’ aggregated chains of dermochondan, keratan and chondroitan sulphates, stabilised by hydrophobic and hydrogen bonds. In these bridges (a) PG proteins attach specifically to collagen fibrils, (b) antiparallel chains of PG AGAGs aggregate and (c) the length of the AGAG chains equals the distance between the fibrils. I called them ‘shape modules’ since they repeat regularly and hold together varied shapes of ECMs. These structures must be elastic. I proposed 2 mechanisms which endow AGAG bridges with reversible deformability;- (a) reversible cycling between conformers of L-iduronate in dermochondan polymers and (b) a sliding filament model in which specific AGAG/AGAG interactions break under stress and reform when the stress is removed. Direct proof of (a) was obtained by stretching individual AGAG molecules. rheoNMR showed the potential of (b). This model has been tested against biomechanical data from specific tissues. E.g. cartilages are built of shape modules, predicting for the first time the anisotropic responses (along and at right angles to shape module axes) of articular cartilage to compressive and tensile stresses. Degradation of shape modules in osteoarthritis, the major crippling disease, would reduce these responses. Thus, loss of shape modular function in binding together collagen fibrils via decoran bridges, would result in sucking-in of water as fibrils drift apart under the swelling pressure of aggrecan.


Personal Details
D.o.b. 14 November 1930
Hons BSc. Chemistry & Physiology 1951 Manchester University
MSc. Physiology 1953 ..
PhD. Chemical Pathology 1956 ..
DSc. Biochemistry 1965 ..
AV Hill Prize for PhD thesis. 1956 ..
Gold Medal, Biochemical Society (London) 1973
Robert Feulgen Prize, Gesellschaft fur Histochemie 1986
Barbara Robert Memorial Medal Societe Francaise du Tissu Conjonctif, 2000
Hon. Member Societe de Dermochimie, Paris. 1969
Hon. Member, British Connective Tissue Society, 1981
Hon. Member, Italian Connective Tissue Society 1981
Hon. Member Czech Medical Society, JE Purkinje 1985
Hon. Member Italian Histochemical Society 1989
Hon. Research Fellow, Massey University, New Zealand 1995 on
Citation Classic 1993
Castellani Memorial Lecturer, Italian Biochemical Society 1994
Distinguished Wenner-Gren Lecturer, Stockholm 1995
International Symposium in honour Varese, Italy 1996
International Symposium in honour, Lancaster, U.K. 1997
Hon. Member Anatomical Society of G.B and Ireland 2000
International Symposium, sponsored by the Anatomical
Society of GB and Ireland 2001
Hon President, XIXth Fed. Euro.Connect.Tiss.Societies Meeting, Italy 2004
Pilot Officer, RAF, 1956-58
Leverhulme Fellow, St. Mary’s Hospital London, 1958
Empire Rheumatism Fellow, MRC Rheumatism Unit, Taplow 1960
Scientific Staff, Med. Res.Council, 1963-1996
Visiting Prof. in Pathology, University of Alabama USA 1965-1983
Visiting Prof. in Anatomy, Tuft’s, Boston USA 1967
Visiting Prof. in Exptl. Pathology, NYU, USA 1967
Visiting Prof. in Medicine, Cornell, NY. 1970
Visiting Prof. Dental School, Adelaide, Australia 1982
Visiting Prof. in Biochemistry, Faculty of Rush University Medical School, Chicago, USA 1998 – 1999
Hon. Prof. of Chemical Morphology, Manchester University (first Chair in the field, 1976-1996)
Emeritus Professor (first Hon. Prof. to be granted Emeritus status 1996)
1998 – 1999
Professional Societies Biochemical Society (Emeritus); plus six Hon. Memberships (above).
Editorial Posts
(Past) Biochemical Journal; Histochemical Journal; J. Histochem. Cytochem.; Methods of Biochemical Analysis; Glycoconjugate Journal.
(Currently) Euro. J. Histochemistry; J. Biochemistry Molecular Biology and Biophysics; Cell Biochemistry and Function; Journal of Anatomy.
Publications over 250 papers and two books
Membership of National and International Committees and grant awarding bodies.
Jury member for award of M. Vialli Prize by Italian Histochemical Society (1999-2002)
Oliver Bird (Rheumatology) Nuffield Foundation 1976-1980
Founder Secretary,
British Society for Matrix Biology (1966)
Federation of European Connective Tissue Societies (1967)
Other Honours.
International Symposium in my honour, Varese, Italy July 2,1996 jointly organised by the Societa Italiana di Ricerche in Ortopedia and the Societa Italiana per lo Studio del Tessuto Connettivo
International Symposium in my honour (Structure, Function and Chemical Morphology of Connective Tissue), Lancaster, U.K. April 7-9th, 1997 organised by the British Connective Tissue Society
International Symposium in my Honour, Chemical Morphology, the Shape of Things in Future. Sponsored by the Anatomical Society of GB and Ireland, and Manchester University. September 2001
Guest at Nobel Prize Ceremonies and Banquet, Karolinska Institute and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, December 2003
My concept of ‘The new Histochemistry’ based on molecular recognition, critical electrolyte concentration theory and physical chemical equilibria has been taught as a course of 3 lectures with 2 associated practical classes in Valladolid University Spain, (1996), Rush Medical College, Chicago, 1998, Bologna University, Italy (1998), Massey University New Zealand (1999), Cardiff University, Wales (1999),




Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:


Stai commentando usando il tuo account Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Google+ photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google+. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )


Connessione a %s...

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: