P 12 Efficient production of sialic acids- Using enzymes for biomass conversion

P 12 Efficient production of sialic acids- Using enzymes for biomass conversion

Man Kumari Gurung1, Tor Olav Berg1, Marie-J. Haglund Halsør1, Bjørn Altermark1, Ingar Leiros1, Ronny Helland1, Ulli Rothweiler1, Arne O. Smalås1and Inger Lin U. Ræder1

1Chemistry, Uit- The Arctic University Of Norway, Tromsø, NOR

We will bring forward efficient enzymes for the production of sialic acid (Sia). Today, the largest market for sialic acid is in the production of anti-viral drugs, but the largest future demand will most likely be as a nutritional additive, in particular to milk formulas, and for cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical applications. We are optimizing enzymes for production of Sia starting from sources containing N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), the building block of chitin.
One of the enzymes is a Sia aldolase. This enzyme has unique properties, facilitating the use of this enzyme alone for production of Sia from the cheaper substrate GlcNAc. The aldolases can also be used in combination with GlcNAc-2-epimerases for production of Sia. These processes are being compared. A successful outcome is enzymes that can utilize GlcNAc or chitin hydrolysates for production of Sia. We are also investigating the potential of the enzymes in production of Sia derivatives for application as second-generation anti-infuenza drugs.