Sialic acids comprise a family of derivatives of neuraminic acid (5-amino-3,5-dideoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-nonulosonic acid) occurring widespread in nature, especially in the animal kingdom. From an evolutionary point of view, they probably have a long history, dating back to precambrian times, as they have already been found in Echinodermata (chapter B). It took a number of years (1936–1962) to establish the structure of N-acetylneuraminic acid by chemical and enzymic means, as has been reviewed by Gottschalk (1972), Ledeen and Yu (1976) and Tuppy and Gottschalk (1972).
KeywordsSialic Acid Carbohydrate Chain Sialic Acid Residue Neuraminic Acid Amino Group Acetyl
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