Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Posted by Safe In4 Hub


An 18-carbon amino alcohol that is a common component of the family of membrane lipids called sphingolipids. In the sphingomyelins, a fatty acid unit forms an amide bond through the amine group of sphingosine, while the primary alcohol group forms a phosphoester linkage with phosphoethanolamine or phosphocholine. Sphingosine is also a common component of glycolipids. In cerebrosides, the primary alcohol group participates in a glycosidic linkage to a sugar residue. Another class of glycolipids, gangliosides, are an elaboration of cerebrosides, containing a group of sugur residues attached to sphingosine via the primary alcohol moeity.

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