MBV4270 – BIOSTRUCT - Advanced Glycobiology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course describes aspects of glycobiology - an important research area at UiO. Proteins and lipids are modified with glycans through post-translational modifications and become glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and glycolipids which can participate in specific molecular interactions or transport mechanisms of biological importance. At the same time, glycans at the cell surface are often attack sites for harmful microorganisms, while complex glycans of plant origin stimulate the immune system.

Learning outcome

After the course you are able to:

  • explain how glycosylation of proteins and lipids occurs in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and how the glycan portion influences sorting and transport of  glycoproteins in intracellular membrane transport.
  • understand how glycan structures are studied by modern analytical techniques and how the glycan structures influence the biological activities of the molecules and their binding to glycan binding proteins (lectins).
  • explain how glycans at the cell surface represent an evolutionary development an in many cases function as attack site for detrimental microorganisms.
  • understand how glycans and the glycan portion of glycoproteins influence different immunological mechanisms.
  • interpret data from mass spectrometry and X-ray crystallography and understand how these are generated.
  • understand primary and review articles in the glycobiology field and present the essence of these to fellow students.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

MBV1030 – General biochemistry (discontinued) and MBV3010 – Advanced cell biology (continued) or corresponding knowledge.


The course is given as 30 hours lectures and 10 hours colloquia/group work with oral presentations . All teaching sessions are obligatory and constitute the curriculum together with hand-outs.

The course is taught intensivelly full time for two weeks in late spring term.


Presented group work must be approved and is a prerequisite to pass the final exam.

A final written exam (3 hours) is held one week after the end of the course.

Former exams

More information on examination from the MN Faculty

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The course is created by GYCONOR at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences with partners from Pharmaceutical Dept., Chemistry Dept. and Dept. of Molecular Biosciences. The course is recommended for master and PhD students in this research field, but others are very welcome.

Facts about this course






The course i offered every second spring semester.


Teaching language