Structure and Localization of Gangliosides

  • Robert K. Yu
  • Megumi Saito


Gangliosides are sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids (GSLs) found primarily in the plasma membrane of virtually all vertebrate tissues and are particularly abundant in the nervous system. They constitute part of the glycocalyx network surrounding the cell surface and are crucial in determining the properties and functions of cells. Structurally, they contain a hydrophobic ceramide chain to which a hydrophilic oligosaccharide is glycosidically linked. Some representative brain gangliosides are shown in Figure 1.


Sialic Acid Human Erythrocyte Neuraminic Acid Synaptic Plasma Membrane Bovine Erythrocyte 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Yu
    • 1
  • Megumi Saito
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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