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Liu, R. ST3GAL5 Gene. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 21 June 2024).
Liu R. ST3GAL5 Gene. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 21, 2024.
Liu, Rui. "ST3GAL5 Gene" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 21, 2024).
Liu, R. (2020, December 22). ST3GAL5 Gene. In Encyclopedia.
Liu, Rui. "ST3GAL5 Gene." Encyclopedia. Web. 22 December, 2020.
ST3GAL5 Gene

ST3 beta-galactoside alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase 5


1. Normal Function

The ST3GAL5 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called GM3 synthase. This enzyme carries out a chemical reaction that is the first step in the production of certain fatty molecules (lipids) called gangliosides. Specifically, GM3 synthase converts a molecule called lactosylceramide to a simple ganglioside called GM3. Further reactions use GM3 to create more complex gangliosides.

Gangliosides are present on the surface of cells and tissues throughout the body, and they are particularly abundant in the nervous system. Although their exact functions are unclear, studies suggest that these molecules help regulate chemical signaling pathways that influence cell growth and division (proliferation), cell movement (motility), the attachment of cells to one another (adhesion), and cell survival. Gangliosides appear to be important for normal brain development and function.

2. Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

2.1. GM3 synthase deficiency

At least one mutation in the ST3GAL5 gene has been found to cause GM3 synthase deficiency, a condition characterized by recurrent seizures (epilepsy) and problems with brain development. The known mutation replaces a single protein building block (amino acid), arginine, with a signal to stop protein production prematurely. The mutation is written as Arg288Ter or R288X, although in older scientific articles it is sometimes written as Arg232Ter or R232X. The mutation prevents the production of any functional GM3 synthase. Without this enzyme, cells cannot produce GM3 or other gangliosides normally. It is unclear how a loss of this enzyme leads to the signs and symptoms of GM3 synthase deficiency. Researchers are working to determine whether it is the lack of gangliosides or a buildup of compounds used to make gangliosides, or both, that underlies the seizures and other problems with brain development that occur in this condition.

3. Other Names for This Gene

  • alpha 2,3-sialyltransferase V

  • CMP-NeuAc:lactosylceramide alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase

  • ganglioside GM3 synthase

  • GM3 synthase

  • lactosylceramide alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase

  • lactosylceramide alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase isoform 1

  • lactosylceramide alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase isoform 2

  • SATI

  • sialyltransferase 9 (CMP-NeuAc:lactosylceramide alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase; GM3 synthase)

  • SIAT9


  • ST3Gal V

  • ST3GalV


  1. Fragaki K, Ait-El-Mkadem S, Chaussenot A, Gire C, Mengual R, Bonesso L,Bénéteau M, Ricci JE, Desquiret-Dumas V, Procaccio V, Rötig A, Paquis-FlucklingerV. Refractory epilepsy and mitochondrial dysfunction due to GM3 synthasedeficiency. Eur J Hum Genet. 2013 May;21(5):528-34. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.202.
  2. Ishii A, Ohta M, Watanabe Y, Matsuda K, Ishiyama K, Sakoe K, Nakamura M,Inokuchi J, Sanai Y, Saito M. Expression cloning and functional characterization of human cDNA for ganglioside GM3 synthase. J Biol Chem. 1998 Nov27;273(48):31652-5.
  3. Kim KW, Kim SW, Min KS, Kim CH, Lee YC. Genomic structure of human GM3synthase gene (hST3Gal V) and identification of mRNA isoforms in the5'-untranslated region. Gene. 2001 Aug 8;273(2):163-71.
  4. Liu Y, Su Y, Wiznitzer M, Epifano O, Ladisch S. Ganglioside depletion and EGF responses of human GM3 synthase-deficient fibroblasts. Glycobiology. 2008Aug;18(8):593-601. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwn039.
  5. Prokazova NV, Samovilova NN, Gracheva EV, Golovanova NK. Ganglioside GM3 andits biological functions. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2009 Mar;74(3):235-49. Review.
  6. Simpson MA, Cross H, Proukakis C, Priestman DA, Neville DC, Reinkensmeier G,Wang H, Wiznitzer M, Gurtz K, Verganelaki A, Pryde A, Patton MA, Dwek RA, ButtersTD, Platt FM, Crosby AH. Infantile-onset symptomatic epilepsy syndrome caused by a homozygous loss-of-function mutation of GM3 synthase. Nat Genet. 2004Nov;36(11):1225-9.
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