Chemical diversity in the sialic acids and related alpha-keto acids: an evolutionary perspective.

@article{Angata2002ChemicalDI,
  title={Chemical diversity in the sialic acids and related alpha-keto acids: an evolutionary perspective.},
  author={Takashi Angata and Ajit Varki},
  journal={Chemical reviews},
  year={2002},
  volume={102 2},
  pages={439-69}
}
The glycan chains of vertebrate glycoconjugates are composed mostly of fiveand six-carbon sugars. One striking exception is the family of sialic acids (Sia), which are R-keto acids with a nine-carbon backbone. Several other features of sialic acids are unusual. First, they typically occupy the distal end of glycan chains. This “outermost” location makes them suitable for interaction with other cells and with environmental agents, and there are numerous examples of such interactions (described… CONTINUE READING
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