Synthesis of asymmetrical multiantennary human milk oligosaccharides [Biochemistry]
Despite mammalian glycans typically having highly complex asymmetrical multiantennary architectures, chemical and chemoenzymatic synthesis has almost exclusively focused on the preparation of simpler symmetrical structures. This deficiency hampers investigations into the biology of glycan-binding proteins, which in turn complicates the biomedical use of this class of biomolecules. Herein, we describe an enzymatic strategy, using a limited number of human glycosyltransferases, to access a collection of 60 asymmetric, multiantennary human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which were used to develop a glycan microarray. Probing the array with several glycan-binding proteins uncovered that not only terminal glycoepitopes but also complex architectures of glycans can influence binding selectivity in unanticipated manners. N- and O-linked glycans express structural elements of HMOs, and thus, the reported synthetic principles will find broad applicability.
Publisher URL: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/27/6954.short
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