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Glycobiology 2007 Jul;17(7):735-43

Successive glycosyltransfer of sialic acid by Escherichia coli K92 polysialyltransferase in elongation of oligosialic acceptors.

Vionnet J, Vann WF

Vann WF (reprint author), US FDA, Ctr Biol Evaluat & Res, Lab Bacterial Polysaccharides, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA US FDA, Ctr Biol Evaluat & Res, Lab Bacterial Polysaccharides, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA


Escherichia coli K92 produces a capsular polysialic acid with alternating alpha2,8 alpha2,9 NeuNAc linkages. This polysaccharide is cross reactive with the neuroinvasive pathogen Neisseria meningitidis Group C. The K92 polysialyltransferase catalyzes the synthesis of the polysialic acid with alternating linkages by the transfer of NeuNAc from CMP-NeuNAc to the non-reducing end of the growing polymer. We used a fluorescent based HPLC assay to characterize the process of chain extension. The polysialyltransferase elongates the acceptor GT3-FCHASE in a biphasic fashion. The initial phase polymers are characterized by accumulation of product containing 1 to 8 additional sialic acid residues. This phase is followed by a very rapid formation of high molecular weight polymer as the accumulated oligosaccharides containing 8-10 sialic acids are consumed. The high molecular weight polymer contains 90-100 sialic acids and is sensitive to degradation by periodate and K1-5 endoneuraminidase suggesting that the polymer contains the alternating structure. The polymerization reaction does not appear to be strictly processive, since oligosaccharides of each intermediate size were detected before accumulation of high molecular weight polymer. Synthesis can be blocked by CMP-9-azido-NeuNAc. These results suggest that the K92 polysialyltransferase forms both alpha2,8 and alpha2,9 linkages in a successive and non-processive fashion.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #17384120
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29