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J Biol Chem. 2015 Jun 19;290(25):15365-70. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R115.647057. Epub 2015 May 6.

The Alpha and Omega of Galactosylceramides in T Cell Immune Function.

Author information

1
From the Division of Developmental Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California 92037, the Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92037, and.
2
the Department of Chemistry, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269.
3
From the Division of Developmental Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California 92037, the Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92037, and mitch@lji.org.

Abstract

Glycosphingolipids are a subgroup of glycolipids that contain an amino alcohol sphingoid base linked to sugars. They are found in the membranes of cells ranging from bacteria to vertebrates. This group of lipids is known to stimulate the immune system through activation of a type of white blood cell known as natural killer T cell (NKT cell). Here we summarize the extensive research that has been done to identify the structures of natural glycolipids that stimulate NKT cells and to determine how these antigens are recognized. We also review studies designed to understand how glycolipid variants, both natural and synthetic, can alter the responses of NKT cells, leading to dramatic changes in the global immune response.

KEYWORDS:

ceramide; cytokine; glycolipid structure; immunology; lipid

PMID:
25947378
PMCID:
PMC4505449
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.R115.647057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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