Open Access Open Badges Review

Implications for the mammalian sialidases in the physiopathology of skeletal muscle

Alessandro Fanzani1*, Alessandra Zanola1, Fiorella Faggi1, Nadia Papini2, Bruno Venerando2, Guido Tettamanti3, Maurilio Sampaolesi45* and Eugenio Monti1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies and Interuniversitary Institute of Myology (IIM), University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123, Brescia, Italy

2 Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, University of Milan, Segrate, Milan, Italy

3 Laboratory of Stem Cell for Tissue Engineering, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Milan, Italy

4 Stem Cell Research Institute, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium

5 Human Anatomy Section, University of Pavia, Via Forlanini 8, 27100, Pavia, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

Skeletal Muscle 2012, 2:23  doi:10.1186/2044-5040-2-23

Published: 1 November 2012


The family of mammalian sialidases is composed of four distinct versatile enzymes that remove negatively charged terminal sialic acid residues from gangliosides and glycoproteins in different subcellular areas and organelles, including lysosomes, cytosol, plasma membrane and mitochondria. In this review we summarize the growing body of data describing the important role of sialidases in skeletal muscle, a complex apparatus involved in numerous key functions and whose functional integrity can be affected by various conditions, such as aging, chronic diseases, cancer and neuromuscular disorders. In addition to supporting the proper catabolism of glycoconjugates, sialidases can affect different signaling pathways by desialylation of many receptors and modulation of ganglioside content in cell membranes, thus actively participating in myoblast proliferation, differentiation and hypertrophy, insulin responsiveness and skeletal muscle architecture.

Sialidases; Gangliosides; Glycoproteins; Myogenesis; Skeletal muscle