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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interaction of N-acetyl-4-epi-D-neuraminic acid with key enzymes of sialic acid metabolism.

In spite of the axially orientated hydroxy group at C-4, the benzyl alpha-glycoside of N-acetyl-4-epi-D-neuraminic acid (4-epi-NeuAc) is a substrate for sialidases from Vibrio cholerae, Clostridium perfringens, and Arthrobacter ureafaciens, although to an extent which differs depending on the enzyme. Surprisingly, V. cholerae sialidase is by far the slowest acting enzyme; this is in contrast to its usual behavior. Fowl plague virus sialidase and bovine testis sialidase also cleave this glycoside slowly. 4-Epi-NeuAc is not a substrate for N-acetylneuraminic acid aldolase from C. perfringens but reversibly inhibits the enzyme with a Ki = 2.3 mM. The N-acetylneuraminic acid analogue is not converted to the corresponding CMP-glycoside by CMP-sialic acid synthase from bovine brain; however, it is an effective reversible inhibitor of the enzyme. The kinetic properties were analyzed with an assay system at pH 9 as well as an assay system at pH 7. 5. The results from Dixon and Hanes plots did not agree. Therefore, no conclusions about the mechanism of the inhibition could be reached. This is the first reported sialic acid analogue which can act as an inhibitor of CMP-sialic acid synthase.[1]


  1. Interaction of N-acetyl-4-epi-D-neuraminic acid with key enzymes of sialic acid metabolism. Gross, H.J., Kovac, A., Rose, U., Watzlawick, H., Brossmer, R. Biochemistry (1988) [Pubmed]
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