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One of a class of compounds having solubility properties of a lipid and containing one or more molecules of a covalently attached sugar.

Glycosphingolipids, the most abundant and structurally diverse type of glycolipids in animals, are glycosides of ceramide, a fatty acid amide of the amino alcohol sphingosine. Galactosyl ceramide is enriched in brain tissue and is a major component of the myelin sheaths around nerves. Glucosyl ceramide is present in the cell membranes of many cell types and is abundant in serum.

Larger, neutral glycosphingolipids containing more than one sugar include lactosyl ceramide, abundant in leukocyte membranes; globosides; and other oligosaccharyl ceramides, some of which are important antigens defining blood groups. Gangliosides are oligosaccharyl ceramides, abundant in brain, spleen, erythrocytes, liver, and kidney, that contain glucose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, and sialic acids.

Glycosphingolipids carry blood group antigens and define tumor-specific or developmental antigens. In addition, they serve as receptors for many microorganisms and toxins, as modulators of cell surface receptors that mediate cell growth, and as mediators of cell adhesion. See Antigen, Cellular adhesion

Glycosyl phosphatidylinositols are a class of glycolipids that serve as membrane anchors for a multitude of proteins in organisms ranging from yeast to protozoa to humans. Glycosyl phosphatidylinositol–core structures can have many different modifications, depending upon the protein and cell type. Lipophosphoglycans are glycosyl phosphatidylinositols attached to large polysaccharide structures that coat the surfaces of many parasitic protozoa, such as Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar). Lipophosphoglycans appear to protect these organisms from host defenses.

Mannosylphosphoryl dolichol, glucosylphophoryl dolichol, and oligosaccharyl phosphoryl dolichols are glycolipids with sugars attached to large polyisoprenoids by phosphate esters. Dolichols are structurally related to cholesterol. Saccharylphosphoryl dolichols serve as important biosynthetic intermediates in the assembly of both asparagine-linked glycoproteins and glycosyl phosphatidylinositols. See Glycoprotein

Glycosyl glycerides are glycolipids that have a structure analogous to phospholipids. They are the major glycolipids of plants and microorganisms but are rare in animals.

Bacteria produce a wide variety of glycolipids not easily categorized. Examples include fatty acid esters of carbohydrates, such as cord factor. Cord factor is a toxic component of the waxy capsular material of virulent strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. Mycosides, glycolipids that are also found in tubercle bacilli, comprise long-chain, highly branched, hydroxylated hydrocarbon terminated by a phenol group, with the sugar glycosidically attached to the phenolic hydroxyl. See Lipid, Sphingolipid, Tuberculosis

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Any of a class of complex lipids which contain carbohydrate residues.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The effects of ethanol administration on brush border membrane glycolipids in rat intestine.
Lima et al., "Enhanced production of an glycolipid biosurfactant produced by Candida glabrata UCP/WFCC1556 for application in dispersion and removal of petroderivatives," International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, vol.
Rees, "Serological activity of purified glycolipid from Mycobacterium leprae," International Journal of Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, vol.
[5] Since sialic acids are major constituents of glycoproteins and glycolipids, this study is concerned with TSA and/or LBSA levels.
The role of Mycobacterium leprae phenolic glycolipid I (PGL-I) in serodiagnosis and in the pathogenesis of leprosy.
uPAR appears to be a marker of tissue injury, while lyso-Gb3 is a marker of glycolipid burden.
Correlation Analysis between Glycolipid Metabolism and Antioxidant Capacity in COE-Treated Diabetic Model Mice.
The test detects a glycolipid molecule (lipoarabinomannan, or LAM), which is linked to TB.
We believe that the antigen is possibly a glycolipid. Those cuts of meat that are high in fat are the ones patients tell us over and over again give them the worst reactions," he said.
frederiksbergiensis extract, identified as glycolipid, has afforded a potent mosquito larvicidal activity against 3rd instar larvae of Ae.