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Structure and Specificity of Gangliosides

  • Herbert Wiegandt
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 71)

Abstract

The name gangliosides was coined by E. Klenk (1) for the class of sialoglycosphingolipids which he had discov ered to be highly concentrated in the ganglion cells of the central nervous system. It was in fact this localiz ation and in addition the pathological accumulation of the gangliosides in Tay-Sachs and similar storage diseases, which much stimulated the early interest of research in this field (for review see (2)). The distinguishing molecular constituent of the gangliosides, of course, is the sialic acid. It is known now that the var iously substituted neuraminic acids indeed function in various highly important biological phenomena (3) and one may expect gangliosides frequently to be involved. It is, however, still not sufficiently clear in how far the gangliosides do in fact serve biological functions different from their relatives, the neutral glycosphin-golipids (for review see (4)). The gangliosides and neu tral glycosphingolipids contribute to the specific oligosaccharide structures located at the outer cell surface, which have long been implicated in processes of membrane mediated information (Lit.cit.in 5). Special significance was attributed to the surface carbohydrates in events of cell to cell contact (6) and the altered growth behaviour of transformed cells (7).

Keywords

Sialic Acid Adenylate Cyclase Cholera Toxin Neuraminic Acid Blood Group Substance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Wiegandt
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisch-Chemisches InstitutUniversität Marburg/Lahn.West Germany

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