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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Nov 9;571(1):137-46.

Optimal conditions for the assay of fibroblast neuraminidase with different natural substrates.


A method for the assay of neuraminidase in human cultured fibroblasts has been worked out. The substrates, all naturally occurring, were: sialyloligosaccharides (alpha(2 lead to 3)sialyllactose, alpha(2 leads to 6)sialyllactose, disialyllactose), sialylglycoplipids (disialogangliosides GD1a and GD1b), sialylglycoproteins and sialylglycopeptides (ovine submaxillary glycoprotein and its pronase-glycopeptides). The method was based on the determination of the enzymically liberated N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc) by a chromatographic-colorimetric microprocedure. The enzyme acted on sialyloligosaccharides and, in the presence of Triton X-100, on gangliosides, while it did not appreciably affect sialylglycoproteins and sialylglycopeptides. The optimum pH was 4.0 for all tested substrates; the Km values were higher for sialyloligosaccharides (about 10(-3) M), lower for gangliosides (about 10(-4) M); the apparent maximum velocity was higher with alpha(2 leads to 3)sialyllactose (400 mU/mg protein); the reaction rate was linear with time for up to 2 h, and with up to 0.6 mg of enzymic protein. The assay method proved to be sufficiently sensitive (3-4 nmol liberated NeuAc), simple, and reproducible (mean activity on pooled fibroblasts with alpha(2 leads to 3)sialyllactose: 400 mU +/- 6 S.E.).

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