ST8 Alpha-N-Acetyl-Neuraminide Alpha-2,8-Sialyltransferase 4 (ST8SIA4)

Reference work entry


The presence of polysialic acid, a linear homopolymer of α2,8-linked sialic acid, in the vertebrate brain was first discovered in early 1980s in addition to capsular polysialic acid of pathogenic bacteria (Finne 1982; Hoffman et al. 1982). Polysialic aid in vertebrates is mainly attached to N-glycans of the neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAM) and is implicated to play various neural roles such as neurogenesis, neural cell migration, neurite outgrowth, and synaptic plasticity by modulating the adhesive property of NCAM (Rutishauser 2008). Due to its polyanionic characteristic and big molecular size like proteoglycans, polysialic acid can affect on differentiation some stem cells and malignancy of cancer cells.


Sialic Acid Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule Polysialic Acid COOH Terminus Linear Homopolymer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Medical GlycoscienceNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Sanford-Burnham Medical Research InstituteLa JollaUSA

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