Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proteins. 2012 Apr;80(4):1123-32. doi: 10.1002/prot.24013. Epub 2012 Jan 7.

Molecular insight into substrate recognition by human cytosolic sialidase NEU2.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biotechnologies and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy.


Sialidases or neuramidases are glycoside hydrolases removing terminal sialic acid residues from sialo-glycoproteins and sialo-glycolipids. Viral neuraminidases (NAs) have been extensively characterized and represent an excellent target for antiviral therapy through the synthesis of a series of competitive inhibitors that block the release of newly formed viral particles from infected cells. The human cytosolic sialidase NEU2 is the only mammalian enzyme structurally characterized and represents a valuable model to study the specificity of novel NA inhibitory drugs. Moreover, the availability of NEU2 3D structure represents a pivotal step toward the characterization of the molecular basis of natural substrates recognition by the enzyme. In this perspective, we have carried out a study of molecular docking of NEU2 active site using natural substrates of increasing complexity. Moreover, selective mutations of the residues putatively involved into substrate(s) interaction/recognition have been performed, and the resulting mutant enzymes have been preliminary tested for their catalytic activity and substrate specificity. We found that Q270 is involved in the binding of the disaccharide α(2,3) sialyl-galactose, whereas K45 and Q112 bind the distal glucose of the trisaccharide α(2,3) sialyl-lactose, corresponding to the oligosaccharide moiety of GM3 ganglioside. In addition, E218, beside D46, is proved to be a key catalytic residue, being, together with Y334, the second member of the nucleophile pair required for the catalysis. Overall, our results point out the existence of a dynamic network of interactions that are possibly involved in the recognition of the glycans bearing sialic acid.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk