UDP-GlcNAc 2-Epimerase: A Regulator of Cell Surface Sialylation

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Science  21 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5418, pp. 1372-1376
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5418.1372

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Modification of cell surface molecules with sialic acid is crucial for their function in many biological processes, including cell adhesion and signal transduction. Uridine diphosphate-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase (UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase) is an enzyme that catalyzes an early, rate-limiting step in the sialic acid biosynthetic pathway. UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase was found to be a major determinant of cell surface sialylation in human hematopoietic cell lines and a critical regulator of the function of specific cell surface adhesion molecules.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, Post Office Box 419100, San Francisco, CA 94141–9100, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: M.Pawlita{at}

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