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Diabetes. 2013 Jul;62(7):2338-46. doi: 10.2337/db12-1825. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Positive regulation of insulin signaling by neuraminidase 1.

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  • 1Division of Medical Genetics, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

Neuraminidases (sialidases) catalyze the removal of sialic acid residues from sialylated glycoconjugates. We now report that mammalian neuraminidase 1 (Neu1), in addition to its catabolic function in lysosomes, is transported to the cell surface where it is involved in the regulation of insulin signaling. Insulin binding to its receptor rapidly induces interaction of the receptor with Neu1, which hydrolyzes sialic acid residues in the glycan chains of the receptor and, consequently, induces its activation. Cells from sialidosis patients with a genetic deficiency of Neu1 show impairment of insulin-induced phosphorylation of downstream protein kinase AKT, and treatment of these cells with purified Neu1 restores signaling. Genetically modified mice with ∼10% of the normal Neu1 activity exposed to a high-fat diet develop hyperglycemia and insulin resistance twice as fast as their wild-type counterparts. Together, these studies identify Neu1 as a novel component of the signaling pathways of energy metabolism and glucose uptake.

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