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FEBS Lett. 1999 Feb 26;445(2-3):325-8.

Regulation of capsular polysialic acid biosynthesis by temperature in Pasteurella haemolytica A2.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad de León, Spain.


The capsular polysaccharide of Pasteurella haemolytica A2 consists of a linear polymer of N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) with alpha(2-8) linkages. The production of this polymer is strictly regulated by the growth temperature and above 40 degrees C no production is detected. Analysis of the enzymatic activities directly involved in its biosynthesis reveals that Neu5Ac lyase, CMP-Neu5Ac synthetase and polysialyltransferase are involved in this regulation. Very low activities were found in P. haemolytica grown at 43 degrees C (at least 25 times lower than those observed when the growth temperature was 37 degrees C). The synthesis of these enzymes increased rapidly when bacteria grown at 43 degrees C were transferred to 37 degrees C and decreased dramatically when cells grown at 37 degrees C were transferred to 43 degrees C. These findings indicate that the cellular growth temperature regulates the synthesis of these enzymes and hence the concentration of the intermediates necessary for capsular polysaccharide genesis in P. haemolytica A2.

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