NMR of Carbohydrates at the Surface of Cells

  • Harold C. Jarrell
  • Ian C. P. Smith
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 56)


Carbohydrates attached to lipid and proteins are a major element of the cell surface, where, anchored in the membrane they modulate interactions with the outside world. Glycolipids may be divided into two major classes distinguished by the nature of the hydrophobic anchor. The glycolipids of bacteria and plants generally consist of a mono-or oligo-saccharide glycosidically linked to the glycerol 3-position of 1,2-diacylglycerol (Curatolo, 1987a). The major glycolipids of animals are in the second class which consist of carbohydrate glycosidically linked to ceramide glycosphingolipids (Curatolo, 1987a). Glycolipids are intimately involved with membrane structure, recognition, immune function, interaction with toxins and biological pathogens, and growth control in both normalcy and disease (Curatolo, 1987a; Thompson and Tillack, 1985; Critchley, 1979). While the important roles that these lipids play is well established, how these roles are fulfilled and influenced by the environment in which these molecules exist is far from being understood. For these reasons, there has been increasing interest in attempting to systematically delineate various physio-chemical properties of these lipids as pure systems and in mixtures (Curatolo, 1987b). The ultimate goal of such studies is to gain insight into how these parameters may influence the various biological roles that the glycolipids can assume.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrum Liquid Crystalline Phase Glycerol Backbone Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Bovine Pancreatic Trypsin Inhibitor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold C. Jarrell
    • 1
  • Ian C. P. Smith
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesNational Research Council of CanadaOttawaCanada

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