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Chem Sci. 2012 Mar;3(3):772-777. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Quinoxalinone Inhibitors of the Lectin DC-SIGN.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA.


The C-type lectin dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) can serve as a docking site for pathogens on the surface of dendritic cells. Pathogen binding to DC-SIGN can have diverse consequences for the host. DC-SIGN can facilitate HIV-1 dissemination, but the interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with DC-SIGN is important for host immunity. The ability of pathogens to target DC-SIGN provides impetus to identify ligands that can perturb these interactions. Here, we describe the first stable small molecule inhibitors of DC-SIGN. These inhibitors were derived from a collection of quinoxalinones, which were assembled using a tandem cross metathesis-hydrogenation sequence. To assess the ability of these small molecules to block DC-SIGN-mediated glycan adhesion and internalization, we developed a sensitive flow cytometry assay. Our results reveal that the quinoxalinones are effective inhibitors of DC-SIGN-glycan interactions. These compounds block both glycan binding to cells and glycan internalization. We anticipate that these non-carbohydrate inhibitors can be used to elucidate the role of DC-SIGN in pathogenesis and immune function.

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