Cloning and characterization of a viral α2-3-sialyltransferase (vST3Gal-I) for the synthesis of sialyl Lewisx.

Research paper by Go G Sugiarto, Kam K Lau, Hai H Yu, Stephanie S Vuong, Vireak V Thon, Yanhong Y Li, Shengshu S Huang, Xi X Chen

Indexed on: 28 Oct '10Published on: 28 Oct '10Published in: Glycobiology


Sialyl Lewis(x) (SLe(x), Siaα2-3Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAcβOR) is an important sialic acid-containing carbohydrate epitope involved in many biological processes such as inflammation and cancer metastasis. In the biosynthetic process of SLe(x), α2-3-sialyltransferase-catalyzed sialylation generally proceeds prior to α1-3-fucosyltransferase-catalyzed fucosylation. For the chemoenzymatic synthesis of SLe(x) containing different sialic acid forms, however, it would be more efficient if diverse sialic acid forms are transferred in the last step to the fucosylated substrate Lewis(x) (Le(x)). An α2-3-sialyltransferase obtained from myxoma virus-infected European rabbit kidney RK13 cells (viral α2-3-sialyltransferase (vST3Gal-I)) was reported to be able to tolerate fucosylated substrate Le(x). Nevertheless, the substrate specificity of the enzyme was only determined using partially purified protein from extracts of cells infected with myxoma virus. Herein we demonstrate that a previously reported multifunctional bacterial enzyme Pasteurella multocida sialyltransferase 1 (PmST1) can also use Le(x) as an acceptor substrate, although at a much lower efficiency compared to nonfucosylated acceptor. In addition, N-terminal 30-amino-acid truncated vST3Gal-I has been successfully cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli Origami™ B(DE3) cells as a fusion protein with an N-terminal maltose binding protein (MBP) and a C-terminal His(6)-tag (MBP-Δ30vST3Gal-I-His(6)). The viral protein has been purified to homogeneity and characterized biochemically. The enzyme is active in a broad pH range varying from 5.0 to 9.0. It does not require a divalent metal for its α2-3-sialyltransferase activity. It has been used in one-pot multienzyme sialylation of Le(x) for the synthesis of SLe(x) containing different sialic acid forms with good yields.