Molecular cloning and functional expression of bacteriophage PK1E-encoded endoneuraminidase Endo NE

Molecular Microbiology
R Gerardy-SchahnM Frosch


Homopolymeric alpha-2,8-linked sialic acid (PSA) has been found as a capsular component of sepsis- and meningitis-causing bacterial pathogens, and on eukaryotic cells as a post-translational modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM). The polysaccharide is specifically recognized and degraded by a phage-encoded enzyme, the endo-N-acetylneuraminidase E (Endo NE). Endo NE therefore has become a valuable tool in the study of bacterial pathogenesis and eukaryotic morphogenesis. In this report we describe the molecular cloning of Endo NE and the expression of a functionally active recombinant enzyme. The cloned DNA sequence (2436 bp) encodes a polypeptide of 811 amino acids, which at the 5' end contains a totally conserved neuraminidase motif. Expressed in Escherichia coli, the enzyme migrates as a single band of approximately 74 kDa in SDS-PAGE. A central domain of 669 amino acid residues is about 90% homologous to the recently cloned Endo NF. Both phage-induced lysis of bacteria and the catalysis of PSA degradation by the recombinant enzyme are efficiently inhibited by a polyclonal antiserum raised against the intact phage particle. The C-terminal region seems to be essential to enzymatic functions, as truncation of ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Polysialic acid
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