There is today an increased awareness of the numerous and important functions of glycans in biological systems. Multiple low affinity binding sites offered by glycans arranged in a polyvalent array may create a flexible and versatile glycan - protein and glycan - glycan recognition system. In a recent review, we provided an overview of the role of glycans in bacterial adhesion to glycan-coated surfaces, and also argued that the single-molecule techniques are powerful tools to advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying bacterial adhesion.  In the talk, I will present examples of studies in which we have used AFM and optical tweezers to provide new insight into the functions of glycans in living systems[2-4]. In addition, I will present our work related to the preparation of cellular microarrays, where we have so far mostly focused on bacterial microarrays , and their potential use in investigations of both animal cells and bacteria.
1. Formosa-Dague, C., Castelain, M., Martin-Yken, H., Dunker, K., Dague, E. and Sletmoen M. The role of glycans in bacterial adhesion to mucosal surfaces: How can single-molecule techniques advance our understanding? Microorganisms, 2018, 6, 39.
2. Beatson, R., Maurstad, G., Picco, G., Arulappu, A.,Coleman, J., Wandell, H., Clausen, H., Mandel, U., Taylor-Papadimitriou, J., Sletmoen, M., Burchell, J.M. The breast cancer-associated glycoforms of MUC1, MUC1-Tn and sialyl-Tn, are expressed in COSMC wild-type cells and bind the C-type lectin MGL, Plos One, 10 (2015) 5, e0125994.
3. Haugstad, K.E., Hadjialirezaei, S., Stokke, B.T., Brewer, C.F., Gerken, T.A., Burchell, J., Picco, J. and Sletmoen M. Interactions of mucins with the Tn or Sialyl Tn cancer antigens including MUC1 are due to GalNAc – GalNAc interactions, Glycobiology 26 (2016), 12, 1338-1350.
4. Hadjialirezaei, S., Picco, G., Beatson, R., Burchell, J., Stokke, B.T., Sletmoen, M. Interactions between the breast cancer-associated MUC1 mucins and C-type lectin characterized by optical tweezers. PlosOne 12 (2017), 4 e0175323.
5. Arnfinnsdottir, N.B., Ottesen, V., Lale, R., Sletmoen, M. The design of simple bacterial microarrays. Development towards immobilizing single living bacteria on predefined micro-sized spots on patterned surfaces. PlosOne, 10 (2015), 6, Article Number e0128162.