Glycosphingolipids are ubiquitous components of animal cell membranes. They are constituted by the basic structure of ceramide with its hydroxyl group linked to single carbohydrates or oligosaccharide chains of different complexity. The combination of the properties of their hydrocarbon moiety with those derived from the variety and complexity of their hydrophilic polar head groups confers to these lipids an extraordinary capacity for molecular-to-supramolecular transduction across the lateral/transverse planes in biomembranes and beyond. In our opinion, most of the advances made over the last decade on the biophysical behavior of glycosphingolipids can be organized into three related aspects of increasing structural complexity: (1) intrinsic codes: local molecular interactions of glycosphingolipids translated into structural self-organization. (2) Surface topography: projection of molecular shape and miscibility of glycosphingolipids into formation of coexisting membrane domains. (3) Beyond the membrane interface: glycosphingolipid as modulators of structural topology, bilayer recombination and surface biocatalysis. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Maggio, B., Fanani, M. L., Rosetti, C. M., & Wilke, N. (2006, December). Biophysics of sphingolipids II. Glycosphingolipids: An assortment of multiple structural information transducers at the membrane surface. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2006.04.020