Dictionary > Sulfatide

Sulfatide

Definition
noun, plural: sulfatides
A cerebroside sulfuric ester containing one or more sulfate groups in the sugar portion of the molecule
Supplement
Sulfatides belong to a class of sulfoglycolipids, which in turn belongs to a class of sulfolipids. Sulfatides may also be regarded as a subtype of cerebroside, a glycosphingolipid.
In eukaryotes, sulfatide is formed when galactocerebroside (a type of cerebroside with galactose as the carbohydrate constituent) is later sulfated in the Golgi apparatus. In particular, galactocerebroside reacts with 3’-phosphoadenosine-5’-phosphosulfate as catalyzed by cerebroside sulfotransferase to produce sulfatide.
Sulfatides occur on the extracellular leaflet of the cell membrane of various cells. Nevertheless, they are mostly found in the myelin sheath. Myelin is a fatty substance that sheathes and insulates the axon of a nerve cell. In the central nervous system, the myelin is produced by the oligodendrocytes. In the peripheral nervous system, it is produced by the Schwann cells.
Apart from being a component of the cell membrane, sulfatides also perform other crucial biological functions. For instance, they are involved in immune response, nervous system signaling, glial-axon interactions, cell adhesion, neural plasticity, memory, protein trafficking, and blood coagulation and anticoagulation.
Sulfatides are degraded in the lysosomes. The presence of sulfatides in excess can lead to pathological conditions. For instance, metachromatic leukodystrophy is a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by the accumulation of lysosomal sulfatides due to a deficiency in lysosomal sulfatase, arylsulfatase A.
Synonym(s):

  • 3-O-sulfogalactosylceramide
  • SM4
  • sulfated galactocerebroside

See also:

  • cerebroside
  • glycosphingolipid
  • myelin
  • Related term(s):

    • Sulfatide lipidosis


    You will also like...

    Types and Causes of Brain Damage
    Types and Causes of Brain Damage

    This tutorial describes the different types and causes of brain damage. Find out how genetics, physical injury, lack of ..

    Evolution of Life - Ancient Earth
    Evolution of Life – Ancient Earth

    Autotrophs flourished, absorbing carbon and light. Soon after, primitive life forms that could assimilate oxygen thrived..

    DNA - schematic
    Genetic Mutations

    This tutorial looks at the mutation at the gene level and the harm it may bring. Learn about single nucleotide polymorph..

    DNA molecule
    Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

    Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

    Genetic engineering
    Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages

    This tutorial presents the benefits and the possible adverse eventualities of genetic engineering. Know more about this ..

    Biosecurity and Biocontrol
    Biosecurity and Biocontrol

    This lesson explores the impact of biosecurity threats, and why they need to be identified and managed. Examples to incl..