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N-Acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac or NANA) is the predominant sialic acid.
Additional recommended knowledge
The negative charge of this chemical is responsible for the slippery feel of saliva and mucins coating the body’s organs.
Despite its role of acting as "decoy" for invading pathogens, Neu5Ac is becoming known as an agent necessary for mediating ganglioside distribution and structures in the brain.
Along with involvement in preventing infections (mucus associated with mucous membranes - mouth, nose, GI, respiratory tract), Neu5Ac acts as a receptor for influenza viruses to allow attachment to mucous cells (an early step in contracting the flu).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "N-Acetylneuraminic_acid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|