Sphingolipids and Gangliosides
Sphingolipids contain a sphingoid base within their structure. Gangliosides are sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids.
Sphingolipids are characteristic eukaryotic lipids which – with few exceptions – do not occur in bacteria. The name “sphingolipid” was introduced by H. E. Carter (1947) and referred to a lipid class that contains a sphingoid base. Today, sphingolipids represent one of the categories into which lipids have been divided, together with fatty acyls (Fatty Acids, Alkanols, and Diacylglycerols), glycerolipids (Glycerolipids: Chemistry), glycerophospholipids, sterol lipids, prenol lipids, saccharolipids, and polyketides. Sphingolipids themselves have been classified into several major classes: sphingoid bases, ceramides, phosphosphingolipids, phosphonosphingolipids, neutral glycosphingolipids, acidic glycosphingolipids, basic glycosphingolipids, amphoteric glycosphingolipids, arsenosphingolipids, and others (Fahy et al. 2005).
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