Globoside (Gb4) is the most abundant neutral glycolipid in the erythrocyte membrane, accumulating in lipid rafts of the cell wall. It is involved in cell communication, increases cell adhesion, and functions as a receptor. Globoside is an essential structure of the blood group P-antigen. A deficiency in this antigen leads to anti-globoside antibodies and the P blood group phenotypes. Globoside is a receptor for multiple toxins including P-fimbriated Escherichia coli, human parvovirus B19,1 and pierisin-1 toxin from the cabbage butterfly.2 In Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease, globoside can accumulate due to a deficiency of the beta-hexosaminidase enzyme.3


  1. Boel Lanne et al “Glycoconjugate Receptors for P-fimbriated Escherichia coli in the Mouse an Animal Model of Urinary Tract Infection” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 270 pp. 9017, 1995
  2. Yuko Matsushima-Hibiya “Identification of Glycosphingolipid Receptors for Pierisin-1, a Guanine-specific ADP-ribosylating Toxin from the Cabbage Butterfly” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 278 pp. 9972, 2003
  3. R. A. Gravel, M. M. Kaback, R. Proia, K. Sandhoff, K. Suzuki, and K. Suzuki. in The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease (C. R. Scriver, W. S. Sly, B. Childs, A. L. Beaudet, D. Valle, K. W. Kinzler, and B. Vogelstein, eds) pp. 3827–3876, McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 2001

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