They occur where a carbohydrate chain is associated with phospholipids on the exoplasmic surface of the cell membrane. The carbohydrates are found on the outer surface of all eukaryotic cell membranes.

They extend from the phospholipid bilayer into the aqueous environment outside the cell where it acts as a recognition site for specific chemicals as well as helping to maintain the stability of the membrane and attaching cells to one another to form tissues.

Types of glycolipids

The following is an incomplete listing of glycolipid types.
* Galactolipids
* Sulfolipids (SQDG)
* Glycosphingolipids
** Cerebrosides
*** Galactocerebrosides
*** Glucocerebrosides
**** Glucobicaranateoets
** Gangliosides (the most complex animal glycolipids; contain negatively charged oligosacchrides with one or more sialic acid residues; more than 40 different gangliosides have been identified; they are most abundant in nerve cells)
** Globosides
** Sulfatides
** Glycophosphosphingolipids (complex glycophospholipids from fungi, including yeasts, and in plants, where they were originally called "phytoglycolipids" by Herbert Carter, et al., may comprise as complicated a set of compounds as the negatively charged gangliosides in animals. The head group of a glycolipid is composed of sugars.

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Glycolipid — Struktur der Glycolipide sowie der Untergruppen Glycero und Sphingo Glycolipide (als Zucker α D Glucopyranose) Glycolipide (griech. glykys = süß, lipos = Fett), auch Glycolipoide oder Glykolipide sind phosphorfreie Strukturlipide oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • glycolipid — noun Date: 1936 a lipid (as a ganglioside or a cerebroside) that contains a carbohydrate radical …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • glycolipid — Oligosaccharides covalently attached to lipid as in the glycosphingolipids (GSL) found in plasma membranes of all animal and some plant cells. The lipid part of GSLs is sphingosine in which the amino group is acylated by a fatty chain, forming a… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • glycolipid — /gluy keuh lip id/, n. Biochem. any of a class of lipids, comprising the cerebrosides and gangliosides, that upon hydrolysis yield galactose or a similar sugar, a fatty acid, and sphingosine or dihydrosphingosine. [1935 40; GLYCO + LIPID] * * * ▪ …   Universalium

  • glycolipid — noun an association of a carbohydrate and a phospholipid, such as phosphatidylinositol, found in cell membranes …   Wiktionary

  • glycolipid — A lipid with one or more covalently attached sugars. * * * gly·co·lip·id .glī kō lip əd n a lipid (as a ganglioside or a cerebroside) that contains a carbohydrate radical * * * n. a lipid containing a sugar molecule (usually galactose or glucose) …   Medical dictionary

  • glycolipid — n. substance which is made up of a carbohydrate and a lipid (Chemistry) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • glycolipid — gly·co·lipid …   English syllables

  • glycolipid — n. a lipid containing a sugar molecule (usually galactose or glucose). The cerebrosides are examples of glycolipids …   The new mediacal dictionary

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