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Eur J Biochem. 1992 May 15;206(1):269-77.

Mouse liver cytidine-5'-monophosphate-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase. Catalytic function and regulation.

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Biochemisches Institut, Christian-Albrechts Universit├Ąt, Kiel, Federal Republic of Germany.


In this paper, we present the results of an investigation into the catalytic properties of CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase (Neu5Ac: N-acetylneuraminic acid) in high-speed supernatants of mouse liver. The enzyme was most active in Hepes/NaOH pH 7.4 and was markedly inhibited by relatively small increases in ionic strength, though the inhibition was abolished by desalting procedures. Several nonionic detergents could activate the hydroxylase to various degrees in a concentration-dependent manner. Ionic detergents and a number of phospholipids were, however, generally inert or inhibitory. The lack of inhibitory influence of a wide range of nucleotides revealed that CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase binds its sugar-nucleotide substrate with a high degree of specificity. Thus, even millimolar concentrations of several cytidine nucleotides elicited virtually negligible inhibition, though the reaction product, CMP-Neu5Gc (Neu5Gc: N-glycoloylneuraminic acid), was a weak inhibitor. The results also indicate that the enzyme is not regulated by any nucleotides or sugar-nucleotides. Dilution of high-speed supernatants with buffer gave rise to a decrease in the specific activity of the hydroxylase, implicating the involvement of more than one component in catalysis. Activity could be restored by the addition of a heat extract of the supernatant. The active principle in this extract was found to be a heat-stable protein with a molecular mass of about 17 kDa. Immunochemical studies allowed this protein to be identified as cytochrome b5 and it was shown that this electron carrier is essential for the activity of CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase. Inhibition studies using iron ligands and activation by exogenous iron salts suggest the involvement of a non-haem iron cofactor in the catalytic cycle of this hydroxylase. Cytochrome b5 may thus serve as an electron donor for this postulated cofactor.

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