Ganglioside GM3 inhibits the proliferation of cultured keratinocytes

Amy S. Paller*, Sheryl L. Arnsmeier, Maira Alvarez-Franco, Eric G. Bremer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Ganglioside GM3 is the predominant ganglioside of keratinocyte membranes. It has been proposed in other cell types that GM3 may participate in the regulation of cell proliferation. To examine the role of GM3 in keratinocyte proliferation, purified GM3 was added to cultured keratinocytes from normal foreskin, from lesional skin of patients with psoriasis and ichthyosis, and to cutaneous squamous carcinoma cell lines. Supplemental GM3 inhibited the growth of all cultured keratinocytes in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 10-100 μM. Keratinocytes from patients with psoriasis and ichthyosis were most sensitive to the inhibitory effects of GM3, and confluent undifferentiated keratinocytes were least sensitive. No change in differentiation was noted after addition of GM3. GD3, 9-0-acetyl-GD3, and GD1b also inhibited keratinocyte proliferation. Gangliosides GM1 and GD1a and sialic acid had little effect. Addition of 50 μM 3H-GM3 to cultured keratinocytes resulted in 1.7 times the amount of cellular GM3. These data suggest that hematoside (GM3) and "b" pathway gangliosides (GD3, GD1b), generated by the preferential activation of sialyltransferase II versus N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase, may be involved in control of keratinocyte growth but not of differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-845
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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