Definitions for gangliosideˈgæŋ gli əˌsaɪd
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
gan•gli•o•sideˈgæŋ gli əˌsaɪd(n.)
any of a group of glycolipids abundant in nerve ganglia.
Origin of ganglioside:
1940–45; gangli (on ) + -ose2+ -ide
Any of several galactocerebrosides found in the surface membranes of nerve cells.
A ganglioside is a molecule composed of a glycosphingolipid with one or more sialic acids linked on the sugar chain. NeuNAc, an acetylated derivative of the carbohydrate sialic acid, makes the head groups of gangliosides anionic at pH 7, which distinguishes them from globosides. The name ganglioside was first applied by the German scientist Ernst Klenk in 1942 to lipids newly isolated from ganglion cells of the brain. More than 60 gangliosides are known, which differ from each other mainly in the position and number of NANA residues. It is a component of the cell plasma membrane that modulates cell signal transduction events, and appears to concentrate in lipid rafts. Recently, gangliosides have been found to be highly important molecules in immunology. Natural and semisynthetic gangliosides are considered possible therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders.
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