Dictionary > Glycosphingolipid

Glycosphingolipid

Definition
noun, plural: glycosphingolipids
A type of glycolipid made up of a glycan (or a carbohydrate) linked to the sphingolipid
Supplement
A glycolipid is a glycoconjugate comprised of a carbohydrate and a lipid. Examples include glycosphingolipids, glyceroglycolipids, and glycophosphatidylinositol.
A glycosphingolipid is a glycolipid comprised of a carbohydrate and a sphingolipid — particularly one that has a sphingosine backbone. The sphingosine is an amino alcohol that has a chemical formula of C18H37NO2. The carbohydrate is linked to a sphingolipid by a glycosidic bond. Thus, hydrolysis of the sphingolipid yields sugar (e.g. galactose or a similar sugar), a fatty acid, and sphingosine or dihydrospingosine.
Glycosphingolipids are one of the lipid components of the cell membrane. They, therefore, help stabilize the cell membrane structure. The carbohydrate constituent of a glycosphingolipid extends or protrudes on the outside of the cell membrane. Thus, glycosphingolipids are also involved in cell to cell interactions (cell adhesion) and cell recognition.
Examples of glycosphingolipids include cerebrosides, gangliosides, globosides, glycophosphosphingolipids, and glycophosphatidylinositols. Gangliosides, in particular, are glycosphingolipids that occur in the cell membranes of neurons. Their carbohydrate component is involved in the interaction between neurons, and therefore, plays a role in cell signaling.
Word origin: Ancient Greek glukús (“sweet”) + sphingolipid
See also:


You will also like...

Balanced Diet
A Balanced Diet – Minerals and Proteins

Proteins and minerals can be derived from various dietary sources. They are essential for the proper growth and developm..

Stem
Stems

Stems primarily provide plants structural support. This tutorial includes lectures on the external form of a woody twig ..

Physiological Homeostasis
Physiological Homeostasis

Homeostasis is essential to maintain conditions within the tolerable limits. Otherwise, the body will fail to function p..

Adaptive Radiation
Adaptive Radiation

The diversification of several new species from a recent ancestral source, each adapted to utilize or occupy a vacant ad..

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

Biological Energy
ATP & ADP – Biological Energy

ATP is the energy source that is typically used by an organism in its daily activities. The name is based on its structu..