Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Mol Med. 2008 Aug;14(8):351-60. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Jul 6.

Sialic acids in human health and disease.

Author information

  • 1Glycobiology Research and Training Center, Departments of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0687, USA.


The surfaces of all vertebrate cells are decorated with a dense and complex array of sugar chains, which are mostly attached to proteins and lipids. Most soluble secreted proteins are also similarly decorated with such glycans. Sialic acids are a diverse family of sugar units with a nine-carbon backbone that are typically found attached to the outermost ends of these chains. Given their location and ubiquitous distribution, sialic acids can mediate or modulate a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes. This review considers some examples of their established and newly emerging roles in aspects of human physiology and disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk