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Chemistry

Bacterial polysialyltransferase engineered to generate uniform polysaccharides for therapeutic applications

In vitro studies suggest a bacterial polysialyltransferase could be used to improve drug pharmacology. Pharmacological properties of therapeutic proteins can be enhanced by attached polysialic acid, but polysialyltransferases usually generate polysialic chains of varying lengths because the enzyme retains its substrate for more than one catalytic cycle. Mutational analysis of polysialyltransferase from Neisseria meningitidis identified a point mutation that resulted in the enzyme releasing the substrate after every catalytic cycle, allowing for control over chain length. Next steps include investigating whether uniform polysialylation can be obtained on clinically relevant proteins including interferon-a (IFNA; IFNa).

SciBX 7(19); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.569
Published online May 15, 2014

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Keys, T.G. et al. Nat. Chem. Biol.; published online April 13, 2014;
doi:10.1038/nchembio.1501
Contact: Rita Gerardy-Schahn, Hannover Medical School,
Hannover, Germany
e-mail:

gerardy-schahn.rita@mh-hannover.de