Emerging roles of N-linked glycosylation in brain physiology and disorders

Lindsey R. Conroy, Tara R. Hawkinson, Lyndsay E.A. Young, Matthew S. Gentry, Ramon C. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


N-linked glycosylation is a complex, co- and post-translational series of events that connects metabolism to signaling in almost all cells. Metabolic assembly of N-linked glycans spans multiple cellular compartments, and early N-linked glycan biosynthesis is a central mediator of protein folding and the unfolded protein response (UPR). In the brain, N-linked glycosylated proteins participate in a myriad of processes, from electrical gradients to neurotransmission. However, it is less clear how perturbations in N-linked glycosylation impact and even potentially drive aspects of neurological disorders. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of the metabolic origins of N-linked glycans in the brain, their role in modulating neuronal function, and how aberrant N-linked glycosylation can drive neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-993
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • N-linked glycosylation
  • carbohydrate metabolism
  • neurodegeneration
  • neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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