Prof. Dr. Lothar Elling



Lothar Elling

Laboratory for Biomaterials


+49 241 80 28350




We develop recombinant enzyme systems for the synthesis of (neo)glycoconjugates by combinatorial biocatalysis. Novel synthetic routes towards natural and modified glycoconjugates are created by the development and optimization of multi-enzyme reaction cycles. We develop fusion proteins of human galectins as novel tools for applications in cell biology and glycobiology. Current research projects include synthesis of native and modified glycan structures and their interaction with glycan binding proteins (lectins). In cooperation with partners we utilize these carbohydrate-protein interactions for the biofunctionalization of biomaterial surfaces for tissue engineering, targeting disease-related lectins and glycoproteins.



  • Enzyme tool box for carbohydrate synthesis: glycosyltransferases, enzymes for nucleotide sugars, glycosidases/glycosynthases, sulfotransferases
  • Biocatalytic and chemo-enzymatic cascade reactions: synthesis of nucleotide sugars and (neo)-glycoconjugates
  • Enzymatic synthesis of building blocks for the synthesis of glycopolymers: potential applications in diagnostics and therapy (in cooperation with DWI Leibniz-Institute – Interactive Materials and UKA)
  • Characterisation of neo-glycoconjugates as ligands/inhibitors of human galectins for potential applications in tumor diagnostic and therapy
  • Biofunctionalisation of biomaterial surfaces (hydrogels, nanoparticles) with galectins and glycoconjugates – Glyco-BioInterface Engineering for applications in tissue engineering (in cooperation with partners from RWTH Aachen and UKA).


Support from cell biology/molecular medicine to analyze and evaluate the glycoconjugates and fusion proteins of human galectins as potential tools in disease related diagnosis and/or therapy. We are looking for partners for further development of these tools for applications in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine.



Nucleotide sugars:

C. Rupprath et al., Adv. Synth. Catal. 2007, 349, 1489-1496.
D.-J. Namdjou et al., Adv. Synth. Catal. 2007, 349, 314-318.
C. Kamerke et al., J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzymatic 2012, 79, 27-34.
C. Kamerke et al.; J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzymatic 2013, 89, 73-81.

Glycoconjugates and galectins:

B. Sauerzapfe, et al. Glycoconjugate J. 2009, 26, 141–159.
C. Rech et al., Adv. Synth. Catal . 2011, 353, 2492-2500.
C. E. Kupper et al., Beilstein J. Org. Chem. - Glycosciences II 2012, 8, 712-725.
C. E. Kupper et al., Curr. Pharmaceut. Design 2013, 19, 5457-5467.

Glycoconjugates on biomaterial surfaces:

K. G. Witten et al., Small 2011, 7, 1954-1960.
M. Beer et al., Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2012, 403, 517-526.
M. V. Beer et al., Adv. Healthcare Mater. 2013, 2, 306-311.