• Roland Schauer
  • Johannes F. G. Vliegenthart
Part of the Cell Biology Monographs book series (CELLBIOL, volume 10)


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).


Sialic Acid Carbohydrate Chain Sialic Acid Residue Neuraminic Acid Amino Group Acetyl 
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  1. Gottschalk, A. (ed.), 1972: Glycoproteins, Their Composition, Structure and Function, 2nd ed., parts A and B. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  2. Ledeen R. W., Yu, R. K., 1976: In: Biological Roles of Sialic Acid (Rosenberg, A., Schengrund, C.-L, eds.), pp. 1— 58 New York-London: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  3. Tuppy, H., Gottschalk, A., 1972: In: Glycoproteins, Their Composition, Structure and Function (Gottschalk, A., ed.), 2nd ed., part A, pp.403–449. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Schauer
    • 1
  • Johannes F. G. Vliegenthart
    • 2
  1. 1.Biochemisches InstitutChristian-Albrechts-UniversitätKielFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Bio-Organic Chemistry DepartmentUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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