Sialic acids are terminal acidic monosaccharides, which influence the chemical and biological features of glycoconjugates. Their removal catalyzed by a sialidase modulates various biological processes through change in conformation and creation or loss of binding sites of functional molecules. Sialidases exist widely in vertebrates and also in a variety of microorganisms. Recent research on mammalian sialidases has provided evidence for great importance of these enzymes in various cellular functions, including lysosomal catabolism, whereas microbial sialidases appear to play roles limited to nutrition and pathogenesis. Four types of mammalian sialidases have been identified and characterized to date, designated as NEU1, NEU2, NEU3 and NEU4. They are encoded by different genes and differ in major subcellular localization and enzymatic properties including substrate specificity, and each has been found to play a unique role depending on its particular properties. This review is an attempt to concisely summarize current knowledge concerning mammalian sialidases, with an especial focus on their properties and physiological and pathological roles in cellular functions.
Bacterial heat-labile (LT) enterotoxins signal through tightly regulated interactions with host cell gangliosides. LT-IIa and LT-IIb of Escherichia coli bind preferentially to gangliosides with a NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-3GalNAc terminus, with key distinctions in specificity. LT-IIc, a newly discove ... more
Phosphate deficiency is characteristic for many natural habitats, resulting in different physiological responses in plants and bacteria including the replacement of phospholipids by glycolipids and other phosphorous-free lipids. The plant pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, whi ... more
A tryptophan side chain was introduced into subsite +1 of family GH-18 (class V) chitinases from Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana (NtChiV and AtChiC, respectively) by the mutation of a glycine residue to tryptophan (G74W-NtChiV and G75W-AtChiC). The specific activity toward glyco ... more