Anne K. Bergfeld

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A well known, epidemiologically reproducible risk factor for human carcinomas is the long-term consumption of "red meat" of mammalian origin. Although multiple theories have attempted to explain this human-specific association, none have been conclusively proven. We used an improved method to survey common foods for free and glycosidically bound forms of(More)
Escherichia coli K1 is a leading pathogen in neonatal sepsis and meningitis. The K1 capsule, composed of alpha2,8-linked polysialic acid, represents the major virulence factor. In some K1 strains, phase-variable O-acetylation of the capsular polysaccharide is observed, a modification that is catalyzed by the prophage-encoded O-acetyltransferase NeuO. Phase(More)
Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C is a major cause of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. This human pathogen is protected by a capsule composed of alpha2,9-linked polysialic acid that represents an important virulence factor. In the majority of strains, the capsular polysaccharide is modified by O-acetylation at C-7 or C-8 of the sialic acid residues.(More)
The dense glycocalyx surrounding the protozoan parasite Leishmania is an essential virulence factor. It protects the parasite from hostile environments in the sandfly vector and mammalian host and supports steps of development and invasion. Therefore, new therapeutic concepts concentrate on disturbing glycocalyx biosynthesis. Deletion of genes involved in(More)
Oligosialic and polysialic acids (oligo/polySia) are characterized by high structural diversity, because of different types of sialic acids and glycosidic linkages. Although several methods have been described for the analysis of oligo/polySia, only high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis in conjunction with(More)
Escherichia coli K1 causes disease in humans and birds. Its polysialic acid capsule can be O-acetylated via phase-variable expression of the acetyltransferase NeuO encoded by prophage CUS-3. The role of capsule O-acetylation in ecological adaptation or pathogenic invasion of E. coli K1 is largely unclear. A population genetics approach was performed to(More)
The two major mammalian sialic acids are N-acetylneuraminic acid and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). The only known biosynthetic pathway generating Neu5Gc is the conversion of CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid into CMP-Neu5Gc, which is catalyzed by the CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase enzyme. Given the irreversible nature of this reaction, there must be pathways for(More)
The outermost positions of mammalian cell-surface glycans are predominantly occupied by the sialic acids N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). To date, hydroxylation of CMP-Neu5Ac resulting in the conversion into CMP-Neu5Gc is the only known enzymatic reaction in mammals to synthesize a monosaccharide carrying an(More)
The major virulence factor of the neuroinvasive pathogen Escherichia coli K1 is the K1 capsule composed of α2,8-linked polysialic acid (polySia). K1 strains harboring the CUS-3 prophage modify their capsular polysaccharide by phase-variable O-acetylation, a step that is associated with increased virulence. Here we present the crystal structure of the(More)
Biosynthesis of the common mammalian sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) was lost during human evolution due to inactivation of the CMAH gene, possibly expediting divergence of the Homo lineage, due to a partial fertility barrier. Neu5Gc catabolism generates N-glycolylhexosamines, which are potential precursors for glycoconjugate biosynthesis. We(More)