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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Nov 15;168(2):167-72.

Trans-sialidase activity for sialic acid incorporation on Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

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1
Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Abstract

A rapid and sensitive assay for neuraminidase using peanut lectin hemagglutination was used to study the prevalence of neuraminidase activity among sucrose-fermenting and non-sucrose-fermenting toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains. Neuraminidase activity was found in 15 (100%) isolates regardless of biotype, hemagglutinating activity and site of isolation of bacteria. Besides expressing the neuraminidase activity that hydrolyzes sialic acid from glycoconjugates, C. diphtheriae was also capable of transferring sialic acid residues from a sialyl-lactose donor. A single molecule probably expresses both neuraminidase and trans-sialidase activity. The trans-sialidase activity was documented by observations of the interactions of bacterial cells with wheat germ agglutinin and peanut lectins. C. diphtheriae expressed a trans-sialidase activity located on the cell surface that produced asialoglycoconjugates from a sialyl donor substrate and at the same time generated bacterial sialyl derivatives of beta-Gal acceptors.

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