A cDNA of the mouse homologue of Escherichia coli N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) synthase (neuB gene product) was cloned by the PCR-based method. The mouse homologue consists of 359 amino acids, and the cDNA sequence displays 33% identity to that of the E. coli Neu5Ac synthase. The recombinant mouse homologue which is transiently expressed in HeLa cells does not exhibit the Neu5Ac synthase activity, which catalyzes condensation of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) to synthesize Neu5Ac, but the Neu5Ac 9-phosphate (Neu5Ac-9-P) synthase activity, which catalyzes condensation of PEP and ManNAc 6-phosphate (ManNAc-6-P) to synthesize Neu5Ac-9-P. Thus, the mouse homologue of E. coli Neu5Ac synthase is the Neu5Ac-9-P synthase. The Neu5Ac-9-P synthase is a cytosolic enzyme and ubiquitously distributed in mouse various tissues. Notably, the Neu5Ac-9-P synthase can not catalyze the synthesis of deaminoneuraminic acid (KDN) or KDN-9-P from PEP and Man or ManNAc-6-P, thus suggesting that the enzyme is not involved in the synthesis of KDN. This is consistent with the previous observation that only a very low activity to synthesize KDN is found in mouse B16 cells [Angata, T., et al. (1999) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 261, 326-331].
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.