NMR Characterization of the Conformations, Dynamics, and Interactions of Glycosphingolipids
Glycosphingolipids, including gangliosides, can form clusters on membranes and thereby mediate a variety of physiological and pathological functions. This chapter illustrates recent nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approaches for elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the functional roles of glycosphingolipid clusters, particularly focusing on the conformational dynamics and interactions of gangliosides. Dynamic conformational ensembles of ganglioside glycans in solution have been elucidated using molecular dynamics simulations validated by NMR data. Intermolecular interactions of glycosphingolipids in membrane-like environments have been characterized using solution and solid-state NMR techniques. Various membrane mimics have been developed for NMR studies on the interactions between ganglioside clusters and amyloidogenic proteins associated with neurodegenerative disorders.