Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Lipid Res. 2009 Apr;50 Suppl:S440-5. doi: 10.1194/jlr.R800028-JLR200. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

The role of glycosphingolipid metabolism in the developing brain.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, USA.


Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are amphipathic lipids ubiquitously expressed in all vertebrate cells and body fluids, but they are especially abundant in the nervous system. The synthesis of GSLs generally is initiated in the endoplasmic reticulum and completed in the Golgi apparatus, followed by transportation to the plasma membrane surface as an integral component. The amount and expression patterns of GSLs change drastically in brains during the embryonic to postnatal stages. Recent studies have revealed that GSLs are highly localized in cell surface microdomains and function as important components that mediate signal transduction and cell adhesion. Also in developing brains, GSLs are suggested to play important roles in nervous system formation. Disturbance of GSL expression and metabolism affects brain function, resulting in a variety of diseases, particularly lysosomal storage diseases. In this review, we describe some aspects of the roles of GSLs, especially of gangliosides, in brain development.

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

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk