Sialic Acids


Acidic sugar molecules prominently found at the outermost fringes of the forest of sugar chains (glycans) that cover all vertebrate cells. The two most common sialic acids in mammals are N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) into N glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). The human lineage ceased the ability to produce Neu5Gc over 2 million years ago causing human cells to be coated with an excess of Neu5Ac.