Glycosphingolipids of human plasma lipoproteins

Subroto Chatterjee, Peter O. Kwiterovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The content and structure of glycosphingolipids (GSL) in human plasma lipoproteins were studies. The quantitative distribution of the neutral GSL(Glc-Cer, Gal-Glc-Cer, Gal-Gal-Glc-Cer, and GalNAc-Gal-Gal-Glc-Cer) and the principal ganglioside (AcNeu-Gal-Glc-Cer) within the different lipoprotein classes was similar to that of whole plasma. The total amounts (μmol glucose/100 ml plasma) of GSL in the plasma lipoproteins of three normal subjects were VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) (trace to 0.46), LDL (low density lipoproteins) (1.08-1.48), HDL2 (high density lipoproteins2) (0.62-0.85), and HDL3 (high density lipoproteins3) (trace to 0.28). In subjects with Lp(a) lipoproteins, HDL2 rather than HDL3 contained most of the GSL in HDL. When the data were corrected for differences in the plasma concentrations of the lipoproteins, the total amounts of GSL(nmol glucose/mg lipoprotein cholesterol) were VLDL(trace to 21.20), LDL(11.70-15.36), HDL2(8.50-9.10), and HDL3(3.12). No GSL were detected in lipoprotein deficient plasma. Mass spectrometry of the trimethylsilyl derivatives of the GSL in LDL showed major fragment ions characteristic of their individual structural components. The elevated plasma levels of the GSL(2-18 fold), in a homozygote for familial hypercholesterolemia, resided in LDL which contained an absolute increase (per mg lipoprotein cholesterol) of GSL. Most, if not all, of the plasma GSL are associated with plasma lipoproteins and may have an important role in their biological functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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