neuraminic acidmedical dictionary


Sometimes known as sialic acid, but strictly one of a family of sialic acids (which includes also N glycolyl neuraminic acid and O substituted derivatives).

It is a 9 carbon sugar formed by adding to mannose three carbons from pyruvate. Occurs in the subset of glycolipids known as gangliosides and in glycoproteins.

The presence of its carboxyl group on glycolipids and glycoproteins is responsible for much of the negative charge on animal cell surfaces.

(04 Jul 1999)