Pseudaminic acid (Pse) is a rare sugar present on the cell surface of a number of bacteria and plays a role in pathogenesis and virulence related to motility  and biofilm formation . Pseudaminic acid processing enzymes are therefore intriguing drug targets and a potential alternative to existing antimicrobial therapies. However characterization of such enzymes are limited due to challenges in the synthesis of Pse resulting in an absence of the desired Pse chemical probes.
The low-cost, practical synthesis of CMP-Pse has been developed utilizing enzymes from the Campylobacter jejuniand Aeromonas cavaie Pse biosynthetic pathway and progressed to the chemo-enzymatic synthesis of Pse containing di- and trisaccharides using sialyltransferases. It has also enabled investigations into the characterization and activity profile of a putative retaining pseudaminyltransferase (Figure 1).
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