Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 7–9, pp 485–499

Achievements and challenges of sialic acid research

  • Roland Schauer


Sialic acids are one of the most important molecules of life, since they occupy the terminal position on macromolecules and cell membranes and are involved in many biological and pathological phenomena. The structures of sialic acids, comprising a family of over 40 neuraminic acid derivatives, have been elucidated. However, many aspects of the regulation of their metabolism at the enzyme and gene levels, as well as of their functions remain mysterious. Sialic acids play a dual role, not only are they indispensable for the protection to and adaptation of life, but are also utilised by life-threatening infectious microorganisms. In this article the present state of knowledge in sialobiology, with an emphasis on my personal experience in this research area, is outlined including a discussion of necessary future work in this fascinating field of cell biology.

sialic acid diversity sialic acid functions sialic acid future aspects sialic acid metabolism sialic acid occurrence 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Schauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Biochemisches InstitutChristian-Albrechts-UniversitätKielGermany

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