New aspects of the regulation of glycosphingolipid receptor function

Chem Phys Lipids. 2010 Jan;163(1):27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2009.09.001.


We propose that the fatty acid heterogeneity of glycosphingolipids may compensate for the relative few and simple glycosphingolipid structures found in mammalian cells. Variation in GSL fatty acid composition may mediate aglycone regulation of GSL membrane receptor function by a differential interaction with cholesterol and other membrane components which may be differentially organized within plasma membrane lipid domains. These concepts are specifically illustrated in model membrane studies and in relation to the role of the glycolipid, globotriaosyl ceramide (Gb(3)) in verotoxin-induced renal pathology and gp120 binding in HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / chemistry
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Viral
  • Glycosphingolipids / chemistry*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / chemistry
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Shiga Toxins / chemistry
  • Shiga Toxins / metabolism
  • Trihexosylceramides / chemistry*


  • Glycosphingolipids
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Shiga Toxins
  • Trihexosylceramides
  • globotriaosylceramide
  • Cholesterol