Author(s): Rauvala H
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Abstract The action of Clostridium perfringens neuraminidase on the ganglioside Gm1 tritiated in the ceramide moiety was studied. The rates of hydrolysis of the Gm1 ganglioside were determined from radioactivity in the neutral glycolipid product, which was separated from the substrate on DEAE-Sephadex columns. In order to study the physical state of the substrate in the conditions used in the neuraminidase treatment, the critical micelle concentrations of the Gm1 ganglioside were determined using formation of the triiodide anion in aqueous iodine solution as an indicator. The critical micelle concentrations were also obtained by determining the non-sedimenting radioactivity at different concentrations of the labeled ganglioside per total volume used in ultracentrifugation experiments. In addition, the concentrations of the monomeric ganglioside were concluded from the results of the ultra-centrifugation studies. The increase in the reaction rate of the Gm1 hydrolysis as the function of the substrate concentration was leveled off at 25-28 microM ganglioside. The abrupt change at this concentration is interpreted as reflecting the monomer-micelle transition of the ganglioside in the conditions used (50mM sodium acetate buffer, pH 4.6). The critical micelle concentration was 29 microM on the basis of the triiodide test, and ultracentrifugation revealed the critical micelle concentration 28 microM. The reaction velocity of the hydrolysis was decreased immediately above the critical micelle concentration, and became constant at higher concentrations of the ganglioside. A close correlation to these changes in the reaction rate is suggested to exist in the concentrations of the monomeric Gm1 ganglioside. Saturation of the buffer used in the neuraminidase assays with butanol effected a striking change in the plot of reaction rate versus ganglioside concentration. The reaction rate increased up to 100-110 microM Gm1 ganglioside. The shift of the inflexion point in the rate plot from 25-28 microM to 100-110 microM ganglioside concentration is suggested to be due to a respective change in the critical micelle concentration effected by butanol. N-Acetylneuraminyllactosyl ceramide, lactosyl ceramide and asialo-Gm1 ganglioside had an inhibitory effect on the reaction. In contrast, N-acetylneuraminyllactose, lactose and some other free saccharides were not inhibitory. The results demonstrate that factors other than the saccharide structure must be taken into account when substrate specificity of a glycosidase is studied using competition experiments. It is suggested that the inhibition effected by the glycolipids is due to an increase in the micellar state of the Gm1 ganglioside.
This article was published in Eur J Biochem
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology