Advances in Ganglioside Chemistry
Gangliosides, sialic acid containing glycosphingolipids, are normal components of the plasma membrane of vertebrate cells and are particularly abundant in the nervous system. They are constituted of a hydrophilic portion, the negatively charged oligosaccharide, and a hydrophobic portion, the ceramide (N-acylated long chain base), linked together by a glycosidic linkage (Ledeen and Yu, 1978; Wiegandt, 1982). The hydrophilic portion is oriented towards the extracellular environment and is assumed to be involved in recognition phenomena mediated by specific interactions between the oligosaccharide moiety and the external ligand (Brady and Fishman, 1979; Holmgren et al., 1980). The hydrophobic portion is inserted into the lipid layer of the membrane and might participate in the process of signal transduction through the membrane (Brady and Fishman, 1979).
KeywordsSialic Acid Specific Radioactivity Redistilled Water Chain Base Oligosaccharide Moiety
long chain base
electron spin resonance
nuclear magnetic resonance
small unilamellar vesicles
critical micellar concentration
gas liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
fast atom bombardment-mass spectrometry.
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