Sialyltransferases and Other Enzymes Involved in the Biosynthesis of Gangliosides

  • Koichi Furukawa
  • Keiko Furukawa


The sialyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of gangliosides were summarized in Table 1. The simplest sialosylglycolipid is GM3 except for GM4 (sialylgalactosyl ceramide). GM3 is located at the starting point of all ganglio-series glycolipids, extending to a-series, b-series and c-series gangliosides. GM3 synthase is called ST3Gal-V (Tsuji et al. 1996; Furukawa et al. 2007). GD3 synthase is the key enzyme for the synthesis of b-series and c-series gangliosides (GT3 synthase, Nakayama et al. 1996). GD3 synthase is called ST8Sia-I (Tsuji et al. 1996; Furukawa et al. 2007). After extending ganglio-core chain by GM2/GD2/GA2 synthase (Furukawa et al. 2007) and GM1/GD1b/GA1 synthase (Furukawa et al. 2007), GD1a/GT1b/GM1b synthase adds NeuAc to Gal at the nonreducing end (Tsuji et al. 1996). Then GT1a/GQ1b/GD1c synthase catalyzes biosynthesis of GT1a, GQ1b, or GD1c from GD1a, GT1b, or GM1b, respectively (Tsuji et al. 1996).


Brain Tissue Functional Analysis Molecular Cloning Human Gene Kidney Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Furukawa K, Tsuchida A, Furukawa K (2007) Biosynthesis of glycolipids. In: Kamerling JP (ed.) Comprehensive glycoscience. Elsevier, Oxford, UK, pp 105–114Google Scholar
  2. Nakayama J, Fukuda NM, Hirabayashi Y et al. (1996) Expression cloning of a human GT3 synthase, GD3 AND GT3 are synthesized by a single enzyme. J Biol Chem 271:3684–3691PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Saito S, Aoki H, Ito A et al. (2003) Human alpha2,3-sialyltransferase (ST3Gal II) is a stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 synthase. J Biol Chem 278:26474–26479PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Senda M, Ito A, Tsuchida A et al. (2007) Identification and expression of a sialyltransferase responsible for the synthesis of disialylgalactosylgloboside in normal and malignant kidney cells: downregulation of ST6GalNAc VI in renal cancers. Biochem J 402:459–470PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Sjoberg ER, Kitagawa H, Glushka J et al. (1996) Molecular cloning of a developmentally regulated Nacetylgalactosamine alpha2,6-sialyltransferase specific for sialylated glycoconjugates. J Biol Chem 271:7450–7459PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Tsuji S (1996) Molecular cloning and functional analysis of sialyltransferases. J Biochem (Tokyo) 120:1–13PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koichi Furukawa
    • 1
  • Keiko Furukawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry IINagoya University Graduate School of MedicineNagoyaJapan

Personalised recommendations