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Ganglioside-composition of brain in Tay-Sachs disease: increased amounts of GD2 and N-acetyl-beta-D-galactosaminyl GD1a ganglioside

Ganglioside-composition of brain in Tay-Sachs disease: increased amounts of GD2 and N-acetyl-beta-D-galactosaminyl GD1a ganglioside

Journal of Neurochemistry 32(3): 767-777

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-3042

PMID: 430057

The ganglioside composition of the brain of a patient with Tay-Sachs disease (TS-brain) was determined by a newly developed ganglioside-mapping (GM) procedure and compared with that of an age-matched control brain. GM2 ganglioside was the predominant component in TS-brain; other gangliosides found were GM1, GD1a, GD1b and GT1 (major gangliosides in normal brain), and GM3, GD3, GD2 and GD1a-GAN (minor or undetectable components of normal brain). Individual gangliosides were isolated by column chromatography using a combination of DEAE-Sepharose, Iatrobeads and Silica Gel 60 and their structures were confirmed by comparing them with authentic standards using TLC, analyzing their carbohydrate compositions by GLC and cleaving them sequentially with glycosidases. The amounts of individual components were measured by quantitative densitometric scanning of the thin-layer plates. As a reflection of myelin breakdown, no sialosylgalactosyl ceramide was detectable in TS-brain. Although the total amounts of all gangliosides except GM2 in TS-brain were low, there were normal molar ratios of the main gangliosides in normal brain, that is, GM1, GD1a, GD1b and GT1. In comparison with the amount of GD1a ganglioside, the amounts of GM2, GD2 and GD1a-GAN, which contain N-acetylgalactosamine as a terminal carbohydrate residue, were all elevated in TS-brain. The long chain bases of individual gangliosides contained C-18 and C-20 sphingosine in different ratios and the ratio of C-20 to C-18 increased in the gangliosides in the order: GM2 < GM1 < GD1a < GD1a-GAN < GD1b < GT1 in normal brain and TS-brain. In contrast, GD2 and GD3 gangliosides consisted mainly of C-18 sphingosine. The C-20 to C-18 ratios of individual gangliosides in the TS-brain were lower than those of age-matched control brain. Hexosaminidase from Turbo cornutus showed the same specific activity and Km value in catalyzing the cleavage of terminal N-acetylgalactosaminyl residues from GM2, GD2 and GD1a-GAN, suggesting that the brain gangliosides that increase in Tay-Sachs disease may be cleaved by the same enzyme.

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Accession: 005502407

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