Gangliosides and Proteins of Brain Synaptic Components

  • Robert M. Burton
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 71)


Eleven years ago, Howard and Burton (1) studied the regional distribution of gangliosides and acetylcholine in beef brain and showed that a parallel relationship existed for these two constituents. These results suggested a possible relationship between gangliosides and cholinergic function of the central nervous system. This relationship was further emphasized by the studies of Burton and his coworkers (2) who employed the method of subcellular fractionation of brain tissue devised by DeRobertis et al. (3) and by Whittaker et al. (4) to isolate the nerve terminal fraction of beef and rat brains. In these studies a parallel relationship was shown between the ganglioside content and the acetylcholine of the subcellular particles. Figure 1 presents the results of an experiment in which the nerve terminal fraction was isolated and placed on a continuous sucrose gradient. Following centrifugation in the ultra-centrifuge, fractions were collected from the tube and analyzed for gangliosides and for acetylcholine. As can be seen in Fig. 1, both of these constituents occurred in the same fraction, the nerve terminal fraction. Concurrently, similar studies were reported by Eichberg and coworkers (5) as well as by Seminario and his collaborators (6).


Synaptic Vesicle Acetylcholinesterase Activity Membrane Fragment Neuraminic Acid Parallel Relationship 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Burton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and the Beaumont-May Institute of NeurologyWashington University Medical SchoolSt. LouisUSA

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