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Pasteurella multocida sialic acid aldolase: a promising biocatalyst

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Sialic acid aldolases or N-acetylneuraminate lyases (NanAs) catalyze the reversible aldol cleavage of N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) to form pyruvate and N-acetyl-d-mannosamine (ManNAc). A capillary electrophoresis assay was developed to directly characterize the activities of NanAs in both Neu5Ac cleavage and Neu5Ac synthesis directions. The assay was used to obtain the pH profile and the kinetic data of a NanA cloned from Pasteurella multocida P-1059 (PmNanA) and a previously reported recombinant Escherichia coli K12 NanA (EcNanA). Both enzymes are active in a broad pH range of 6.0–9.0 in both reaction directions and have similar kinetic parameters. Substrates specificity studies showed that 5-O-methyl-ManNAc, a ManNAc derivative, can be used efficiently as a substrate by PmNanA, but not efficiently by EcNanA, for the synthesis of 8-O-methyl Neu5Ac. In addition, PmNanA (250 mg l−1 culture) has a higher expression level (2.5-fold) than EcNanA (94 mg l−1 culture). The higher expression level and a broader substrate tolerance make PmNanA a better catalyst than EcNanA for the chemoenzymatic synthesis of sialic acids and their derivatives.

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This work was supported by grant R01GM076360 from the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Xi Chen.

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Li, Y., Yu, H., Cao, H. et al. Pasteurella multocida sialic acid aldolase: a promising biocatalyst. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 79, 963 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-008-1506-2

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  • Aldolase
  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Lyase
  • NanA
  • Pasteurella multocida