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Multi-system disorders of glycosphingolipid and ganglioside metabolism

By You-Hai Xu, Sonya Barnes, Ying Sun and Gregory A. Grabowski


Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) and gangliosides are a group of bioactive glycolipids that include cerebrosides, globosides, and gangliosides. These lipids play major roles in signal transduction, cell adhesion, modulating growth factor/hormone receptor, antigen recognition, and protein trafficking. Specific genetic defects in lysosomal hydrolases disrupt normal GSL and ganglioside metabolism leading to their excess accumulation in cellular compartments, particularly in the lysosome, i.e., lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs). The storage diseases of GSLs and gangliosides affect all organ systems, but the central nervous system (CNS) is primarily involved in many. Current treatments can attenuate the visceral disease, but the management of CNS involvement remains an unmet medical need. Early interventions that alter the CNS disease have shown promise in delaying neurologic involvement in several CNS LSDs. Consequently, effective treatment for such devastating inherited diseases requires an understanding of the early developmental and pathological mechanisms of GSL and ganglioside flux (synthesis and degradation) that underlie the CNS diseases. These are the focus of this review

Topics: Thematic Review
Publisher: The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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