A panel of seven isotopically substituted sialoside natural substrate analogues based on the core structure 7-(5-acetamido-3,5-dideoxy-d-glycero-α-d-galacto-non-2-ulopyranosylonic acid)-(2→6)-β-D-galactopyranosyloxy)-8-fluoro-4-methylcoumarin (1, Neu5Acα2,6GalβFMU) have been synthesized and used to probe the rate-limiting step for turnover by the M. viridifaciens sialidase. The derived kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) on k(cat) for the ring oxygen ((18)V), leaving group oxygen ((18)V), anomeric carbon ((13)V), C3-carbon ((13)V), C3-R deuterium ((D)V(R)), C3-S deuterium ((D)V(S)), and C3-dideuterium ((D)(2)V) are 0.986 ± 0.003, 1.003 ± 0.005, 1.021 ± 0.006, 1.001 ± 0.008, 1.029 ± 0.007, 0.891 ± 0.008, and 0.890 ± 0.006, respectively. The solvent deuterium KIE ((D(2)O)V) for the sialidase-catalyzed hydrolysis of 1 is 1.585 ± 0.004. In addition, a linear proton inventory was measured for the rate of hydrolysis, under saturating condition, as a function of n, the fraction of deuterium in the solvent. These KIEs are compatible with rate-determining cleavage of the enzymatic tyrosinyl β-sialoside intermediate. Moreover, the secondary deuterium KIEs are consistent with the accumulating Michaelis complex in which the sialosyl ring of the carbohydrate substrate is in a (6)S(2) skew boat conformation. These KIE measurements are also consistent with the rate-determining deglycosylation reaction occurring via an exploded transition state in which synchronous charge delocalization is occurring onto the ring oxygen atom. Finally, the proton inventory and the magnitude of the solvent KIE are consistent with deglycosylation involving general acid-catalyzed protonation of the departing tyrosine residue rather than general base-assisted attack of the nucleophilic water.