Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard
Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 3.022
CiteScore 2017: 2.81
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.562
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.705
Regulation and pathophysiological implications of UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc kinase (GNE) as the key enzyme of sialic acid biosynthesis
The key enzyme for the biosynthesis of N-acetylneuraminic acid, from which all other sialic acids are formed, is the bifunctional enzyme UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase (GNE). GNE is a highly conserved protein found throughout the animal kingdom. Its highest expression is seen in the liver and placenta. GNE is regulated by a variety of biochemical means, including tetramerization promoted by the substrate UDP-GlcNAc, phosphorylation by protein kinase C and feedback inhibition by CMP-Neu5Ac, which is defect in the human disease sialuria. GNE knock-out in mice leads to embryonic lethality, emphasizing the crucial role of this key enzyme for sialic acid biosynthesis. The metabolic capacity to synthesize sialic acid and CMP-sialic acid upon ManNAc loads is amazingly high. An additional characteristic of GNE is its interaction with proteins involved in the regulation of development, which might play a crucial role in the hereditary inclusion body myopathy. Due to the importance of increased concentrations of tumor-surface sialic acid, first attempts to find inhibitors of GNE have been successful.
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