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Nat Genet. 1997 Mar;15(3):316-20.

Cloning, expression and chromosomal mapping of human lysosomal sialidase and characterization of mutations in sialidosis.

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  • 1Département de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Sialidase (neuraminidase, EC catalyses the hydrolysis of terminal sialic acid residues of glyconjugates. Sialidase has been well studied in viruses and bacteria where it destroys the sialic acid-containing receptors at the surface of host cells, and mobilizes bacterial nutrients. In mammals, three types of sialidases, lysosomal, plasma membrane and cytosolic, have been described. For lysosomal sialidase in humans, the primary genetic deficiency results in an autosomal recessive disease, sialidosis, associated with tissue accumulation and urinary excretion of sialylated oligosaccharides and glycolipids. Sialidosis includes two main clinical variants: late-onset, sialidosis type I, characterized by bilateral macular cherry-red spots and myoclonus, and infantile-onset, sialidosis type II, characterized by skeletal dysplasia, mental retardation and hepatosplenomegaly. We report the identification of human lysosomal sialidase cDNA, its cloning, sequencing and expression. Examination of six sialidosis patients revealed three mutations, one frameshift insertion and two missense. We mapped the lysosomal sialidase gene to human chromosome 6 (6p21.3), which is consistent with the previous chromosomal assignment of this gene in proximity to the HLA locus.

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