To sialylate, or not to sialylate: That is the question

Eric Vimr, Carol Lichtensteiger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Most oropharyngeal pathogens express sialic acid units on their surfaces, mimicking the sialyl-rich mucin layer coating epithelial cells and the glycoconjugates present on virtually all host cell surfaces and serum proteins. Unlike the host's cells, which synthesize sialic acids endogenously, several microbial pathogens use truncated sialylation pathways. How microorganisms regulate sialic acid metabolism to ensure an adequate supply of free sugar for surface remodeling is a new area of research interest to basic scientists and those focused on the clinical outcome of the host-pathogen interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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