The Biology of Gangliosides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gangliosides comprise a varied family of glycosphingolipid structures bearing one or more sialic acid residues. They are found in all mammalian tissues but are most abundant in the brain, where they represent the quantitatively major class of sialoglycans. As prominent molecular determinants on cell surfaces, they function as molecular-recognition partners for diverse glycan-binding proteins ranging from bacterial toxins to endogenous cell–cell adhesion molecules. Gangliosides also regulate the activity of plasma membrane proteins, including protein tyrosine kinases, by lateral association in the same membranes in which they reside. Their roles in molecular recognition and membrane protein regulation implicate gangliosides in human physiology and pathology, including infectious diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegeneration. The varied structures and biosynthetic pathways of gangliosides are presented here, along with representative examples of their biological functions in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Gangliosides
Molecular recognition
Membrane Proteins
Bearings (structural)
Bacterial Toxins
Glycosphingolipids
Biosynthetic Pathways
Physiology
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
Pathology
Cell membranes
Medical problems
Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
Communicable Diseases
Polysaccharides
Blood Proteins
Brain
Carrier Proteins
Adhesion
Cell Membrane

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Bacterial toxins
  • Insulin receptor
  • Intellectual disability
  • Myelin-associated glycoprotein
  • Peripheral neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

The Biology of Gangliosides. / Schnaar, Ronald Lee.

In: Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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