Clinical and Biochemical Studies in an American Child with Sialuria

D. M. Krasnewich, F. Tietze, W. Krause, R. Pretzlaff, D. A. Wenger, V. Diwadkar, W. A. Gahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Sialuria is a rare inborn error of sialic acid (NeuAc) metabolism resulting from failure of CMP-NeuAc to adequately feedback inhibit the rate-limiting enzyme in sialic acid synthesis, UDP N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) 2-epimerase. We describe the fourth reported sialuria patient, T.W., whose clinical features include developmental delay, coarse facies, and massive urinary excretion of sialic acid, Biochemical studies of T.W. fibroblasts revealed a 200-fold increase in free NeuAc content compared with normal. Bound NeuAc was only slightly elevated. The free NeuAc was predominantly in the cytosol fraction of fibroblasts after differential centrifugation, with only 4% of the free NeuAc content in other (nuclear, granular, and microsomal) cellular compartments. CMP-NeuAc inhibited UDPGlcNAc 2-epimerase by 80% in normal fibroblasts but inhibited the epimerase of T.W. (sialuria) cells by only 13%. Cytidine feeding of sialuria fibroblasts decreased the intracellular free NeuAc content by 47%; this was accompanied by a fourfold increase in CMP-NeuAc, which may be sufficient to feedback inhibit the mutant epimerase and reduce free NeuAc production. Cytoplasmic pH was determined by the pH sensitive fluorescent indicator 2′,7′-bis(carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescemn, pentaacetoxymethylester (BCECF/AM) using the H+ equilibration method. The intracellular pH of sialuria fibroblasts, 7.18 ± 0.04, was not found to he significantly different from that of normal cells (7.19 ± 0.08).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Medicine and Metabolic Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry


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