Roles for UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc 6-kinase outside of sialic acid biosynthesis: Modulation of sialyltransferase and BiP expression, GM3 and GD3 biosynthesis, proliferation, and apoptosis, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation

Zhiyun Wang, Zhonghui Sun, Adrienne V. Li, Kevin J. Yarema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Roles for UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc 6-kinase (GNE) beyond controlling flux into the sialic acid biosynthetic pathway by converting UDP-GlcNAc to N-acetylmannosamine are described in this report. Overexpression of recombinant GNE in human embryonic kidney (HEK AD293) cells led to an increase in mRNA levels for ST3Gal5 (GM3 synthase) and ST8Sia1 (GD3 synthase) as well as the biosynthetic products of these sialyltransferases, the GM3 and GD3 gangliosides. Conversely, down-regulation of GNE by RNA interference methods had the opposite, but consistent, effect of lowering ST3Gal5 and ST8Sia1 mRNAs and reducing GM3 and GD3 levels. Control experiments ensured that GNE-mediated changes in sialyltransferase expression and ganglioside biosynthesis were not the result of altered flux through the sialic acid pathway. Interestingly, exogenous GM3 and GD3 also changed the expression of GNE and led to reduced ST3Gal5 and ST8Sia1 mRNA levels, demonstrating a reciprocating feedback mechanism where gangliosides regulate upstream biosynthetic enzymes. Cellular responses to the GNE-mediated changes in ST3Gal5 and ST8Sia1 expression and GM3 and GD3 levels were investigated next. Conditions that led to reduced ganglioside production (e.g. short hairpin RNA exposure) stimulated proliferation, whereas conditions that resulted in increased ganglioside levels (e.g. recombinant GNE and exogenous gangliosides) led to reduced proliferation with a concomitant increase in apoptosis. Finally, changes to BiP expression and ERK1/2 phosphorylation consistent with apoptosis and proliferation, respectively, were observed. These results provide examples of specific biochemical pathways, other than sialic acid metabolism, that are influenced by GNE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27016-27028
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume281
Issue number37
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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