IMR Press / FBL / Volume 12 / Issue 10 / DOI: 10.2741/2356

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Ligand, modulatory, and co-receptor functions of neural glycans
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1 Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
3 The Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Academic Editor:Michael Hortsch
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2007, 12(10), 3852–3879; https://doi.org/10.2741/2356
Published: 1 May 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural cell adhesion molecules)
Abstract

Glycans exist at the surface of neural cells primarily as modifications to proteins and lipids. The broad range of functions attributed to neural glycans reflects the immense diversity of glycan structures found in neural tissue. Most glycan functions can be sorted into three non-exclusive categories: ligand, modulatory, and/or co-receptor. Classic models, that have proposed functions for glycans as adhesive ligands, are evolving to incorporate sometimes subtle, but extremely robust, effects on cell survival, differentiation, and physiology. Over the past decade, the identification of new glycan structures and unsuspected biosynthetic pathways has demonstrated that glycans modulate cell-signaling pathways and function as co-receptors for receptor-ligand interactions. In some contexts, the distinction between adhesion and signaling has become blurred. This review summarizes major recent advances in neuroglycobiology related to glycan expression and function.

Keywords
Neural lectin
Neural glycan
Galectin
Glycosylation
I-type lectin
Siglec
NCAM
Lectican
Notch
Fringe
alpha-Dystroglycan
Glycosaminoglycan
Axon guidance
Cell adhesion
Sulfation
Review
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