Formation of neutral glycosphingolipids

A whole host of higher homologues of ceramide are present in different tissues (Section 6.3). These are produced by direct transfer of a single sugar usually from its UDP derivative (Table 7.5). The enzymes are specific for this individual glyco-sphingolipid substrate and, therefore, sugar addition is in a defined order. These reactions give rise to the different core sphingolipid structures illustrated in Fig. 7.13.

GalNAc-Gal-GlcCer (Ganglio)

Cer—*■ GlcCer —► Gal-GlcCer—► Gal-Gal-GlcCer (Globo) \

GlcNAc-Gal-GlcCer (Lacto)

Man-GlcCer-► Man-Man-GlcCer (Mollu)

^^^ GlcNAc-Man-GlcCer (Anthro)

Fig. 7.13 Formation of different core glycosphingolipids from ceramide. Glc: glucose; Gal: galactose; Man: mannose; GalNAc: ^-acetylgalactosamine; GlcNAc: N-acetylglucosamine; Cer: ceramide.

Whereas formation of the cerebrosides (Glu-Cer, Gal-Cer) occurs on the cytoplasmic face of the endoplasmic reticulum, the more complex neutral glycosphingolipids are made in the lumen of the Golgi apparatus.

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