The Natural Occurrence of Sialic Acids

  • Sai-Sun Ng
  • Joel A. Dain


The sialic acids are widely distributed in nature, either free or as components of homo- and heterosaccharides, glycoproteins, and glycolipids (Tuppy and Gottschalk, 1972). Although a considerable literature has accumulated on sialic acids and the sialo compounds, a unified concept about the biological roles of sialic acids has not yet developed due to both their heterogeneous occurrence and their possible involvement in diverse cellular functions (Faillard and Schauer, 1972; Gottschalk, 1972; Marshall, 1972; Mehrishi, 1972; Curtis, 1973; Hughes, 1973; Schauer, 1973; Weiss, 1973). This chapter will approach a better understanding of the biological roles of sialic acids by examining their occurrence in nature. A possible correlation between the evolution and biological roles of sialic acids is considered.


Sialic Acid Natural Occurrence Sialic Acid Residue Elsevier Publishing Sindbis Virus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sai-Sun Ng
    • 1
  • Joel A. Dain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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