Neuraminic acid

Neuraminic acid

Neuraminic acid (5-amino-3,5-dideoxy- D-glycero-D-galacto-non-2-ulosonic acid) is a 9-carbon monosaccharide. In theory, neuraminic acid may be visualized as the aldol-condensation product of pyruvic acid and D-mannosamine (2-amino-2-deoxy-mannose). Neuraminic acid does not occur naturally, but many of its derivatives are found widely distributed in animal tissues and in bacteria, especially in glycoproteins and gangliosides. The N- or O-substituted derivatives of neuraminic acid are collectively known as sialic acids, the predominant one being N-acetylneuraminic acid. The amino group bears either an acetyl or a glycolyl group. The hydroxyl substituents may vary considerably: Acetyl, lactyl, methyl, sulfate and phosphate groups have been found.

The name "neuraminic acid" was introduced by German scientist E. Klenk in 1941, in reference to the brain lipids from which it was derived as a cleavage product..

The symbol commonly used for neuraminic acid is Neu.

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