Neural stem cells (NSCs) possess a high proliferative potential and capacity for self-renewal with retention of multipotency to differentiate into brain-forming cells. NSCs have gained a considerable attention because of their potential application in treatment strategies on the basis of transplantation for neurodegenerative disorders and nerve injuries. Although several signaling pathways have been reportedly involved in the fate determination process of NSCs, the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of neural cell stemness and differentiation process remain largely unknown. Glycoconjugates expressed in the NSC niche in the brain offer markers of NSCs; moreover, they serve as cell regulators, which are actively involved in the modulation of signal transduction. The glycans function on NCS surfaces by recruiting growth factor receptors to specific microdomains as components of glycolipids, thereby mediating the ligand–receptor interactions both indirectly and directly as components of proteoglycans and interacting with specific lectin-type receptors as components of ligand glycoproteins. In this review, we outline current knowledge of the possible functional mechanisms of glycoconjugates to determine cell fates, which are associated with their expression pattern and structural characteristic features.
Glycoconjugate Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 27, 2016
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