Functional Roles of the HNK-1 Carbohydrate and Polysialic Acid in the Nervous System
In the nervous system, many types of cells recognize each other to form a precise neural network, whereas these cells are morphologically and functionally different. The development and maintenance of this complicated but accurate network involves many molecules. Among them, cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are considered to play important roles in these processes. On these CAMs in the nervous system, unique carbohydrate epitopes are known to be expressed such as HNK-1 (Human Natural Killer-1, also called CD57) and PSA (polysialic acid), which are rarely found in other organs or tissues. Recently, it was revealed that these unique carbohydrates are involved in the formation and maintenance of neural network.
KeywordsSialic Acid Synaptic Plasticity Null Mouse Neural Crest Cell Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule
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