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J Org Chem. 2012 Feb 3;77(3):1449-56. doi: 10.1021/jo202322k. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Chemoenzymatic synthesis of uridine diphosphate-GlcNAc and uridine diphosphate-GalNAc analogs for the preparation of unnatural glycosaminoglycans.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA.


Eight N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate and N-acetylgalactosamine-1-phosphate analogs have been synthesized chemically and were tested for their recognition by the GlmU uridyltransferase enzyme. Among these, only substrates that have an amide linkage to the C-2 nitrogen were transferred by GlmU to afford their corresponding uridine diphosphate(UDP)-sugar nucleotides. Resin-immobilized GlmU showed comparable activity to nonimmobilized GlmU and provides a more facile final step in the synthesis of an unnatural UDP-donor. The synthesized unnatural UDP-donors were tested for their activity as substrates for glycosyltransferases in the preparation of unnatural glycosaminoglycans in vitro. A subset of these analogs was useful as donors, increasing the synthetic repertoire for these medically important polysaccharides.

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