Biological roles of sulfoglycolipids and pathophysiology of their deficiency
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Mammalian sulfoglycolipids are comprised of two major members, sulfatide (SO3-3Gal-ceramide) and seminolipid (SO3-3Gal-alkylacylglycerol). Sulfatide is abundant in the myelin sheath and seminolipid is expressed on the spermatogenic cells. Cerebroside sulfotransferase (CST)-deficient mice generated by gene targeting completely lack sulfatide and seminolipid all over the body. CST-null mice manifest some neurological disorders due to myelin dysfunction, an aberrant enhancement of oligodendrocyte terminal differentiation, and an arrest of spermatogenesis, indicating that sulfation of glycolipids is essential for myelin formation and spermatogenesis. Moreover, CST-deficiency ameliorates L-selectin-dependent monocyte infiltration in the kidney after ureteral obstruction, an experimental model of renal interstitial inflammation, indicating that sulfatide is an endogenous ligand of L-selectin. Studies on the molecular mechanisms by which sulfoglycolipids participate in these biological processes are ongoing. Published in 2004.
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