The Enzyme Database

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Accepted name: N-acetylneuraminate epimerase
Reaction: N-acetyl-α-neuraminate = N-acetyl-β-neuraminate
Other name(s): sialic acid epimerase; N-acetylneuraminate mutarotase; YjhT
Systematic name: N-acetyl-α-neuraminate 2-epimerase
Comments: Sialoglycoconjugates present in vertebrates are linked exclusively by α-linkages and are released in α form during degradation. This enzyme accelerates maturotation to the β form (which also occurs as a slow spontaneous reaction), which is necessary for further metabolism by the bacteria.
Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MetaCyc
1.  Severi, E., Müller, A., Potts, J.R., Leech, A., Williamson, D., Wilson, K.S. and Thomas, G.H. Sialic acid mutarotation is catalyzed by the Escherichia coli β-propeller protein YjhT. J. Biol. Chem. 283 (2008) 4841–4849. [DOI] [PMID: 18063573]
[EC created 2011]

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