Functional roles of gangliosides in Neurodevelopment: An overview of recent advances

Robert K. Yu, Yi Tzang Tsai, Toshio Ariga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Gangliosides are sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids that are most abundant in the nervous system. They are localized primarily in the outer leaflets of plasma membranes and participated in cell-cell recognition, adhesion, and signal transduction and are integral components of cell surface microdomains or lipid rafts along with proteins, sphingomyelin and cholesterol. Ganglioside-rich lipid rafts play an important role in signaling events affecting neural development and the pathogenesis of certain diseases. Disruption of gangloside synthase genes in mice induces developmental defects and neural degeneration. Targeting ganglioside metabolism may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for intervention in certain diseases. In this review, we focus on recent advances on metabolic and functional studies of gangliosides in normal brain development and in certain neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1230-1244
Number of pages15
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ganglioside synthase
  • Gangliosides
  • Glycosyltransferase
  • Knockout mouse
  • Lipid raft
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neurological disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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