Author(s): Varki A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract 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.
This article was published in Trends Mol Med
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology