Gangliosides in cell recognition and membrane protein regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gangliosides, sialic acid-bearing glycosphingolipids, are expressed on all vertebrate cells, and are the major glycans on nerve cells. They are anchored to the plasma membrane through their ceramide lipids with their varied glycans extending into the extracellular space. Through sugar-specific interactions with glycan-binding proteins on apposing cells, gangliosides function as receptors in cell-cell recognition, regulating natural killer cell cytotoxicity via Siglec-7, myelin-axon interactions via Siglec-4 (myelin-associated glycoprotein), and inflammation via E-selectin. Gangliosides also interact laterally in their own membranes, regulating the responsiveness of signaling proteins including the insulin, epidermal growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors. In these ways, gangliosides act as regulatory elements in the immune system, in the nervous system, in metabolic regulation, and in cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-557
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

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Gangliosides
Membrane Proteins
Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
Polysaccharides
Sialic Acid Binding Immunoglobulin-like Lectins
Glycosphingolipids
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor
E-Selectin
Ceramides
Extracellular Space
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
Myelin Sheath
Epidermal Growth Factor
Natural Killer Cells
Nervous System
Axons
Vertebrates
Immune System
Carrier Proteins
Cell Membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology

Cite this

Gangliosides in cell recognition and membrane protein regulation. / Lopez, Pablo; Schnaar, Ronald Lee.

In: Current Opinion in Structural Biology, Vol. 19, No. 5, 10.2009, p. 549-557.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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