Gangliosides as Modulators of the Coupling of Neurotransmitters to Adenylate Cyclase
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Polysialogangliosides are characteristic components of nervous tissue, enriched in neurons, but little is known of their biological role in the CNS. Since the oligosaccharide moiety in GM1 ganglioside has been shown to confer binding specificity towards cholera toxin,1 this has become the model for gangliosides to act as receptors for a wide variety of biologically active compounds including hormones and neurotransmitters. However, in most of these cases the receptor has been subsequently characterized as a protein and the binding to ganglioside has turned out to be of rather low affinity and specificity. Examples of this are the thyrotropin2 and opiate receptors.3 Thus the precise function of gangliosides in the CNS remains problematical but of intense interest.
KeywordsAdenylate Cyclase Gauche Disease Brain Ganglioside cAMP Synthesis Oligosaccharide Moiety
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