The structure of the pentasaccharide S259-1 in the Consortium for Functional Glycomics was investigated using a variety of techniques. Surprisingly, the structure differs from the structure assumed from the previously established specificity of the human fucosyltransferase FUT-III used in the last step of chemoenzymatic synthesis. When presented with a tetrasaccharide substrate containing both type I and type II disaccharide moieties, the enzyme generates a pentasaccharide in which the type II moiety is preferentially fucosylated. The unexpected product generated by FUT-III in this case highlights the importance of performing detailed structural analysis on products generated by enzymes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed the substrate specificity of six human alpha1,3-fucosyltransferases (alpha1,3FUTs) for the 2-aminobenzamide (2AB)-labelled polylactosamine acceptor, Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1- 3Galbeta1-4GlcNAc-2AB (3LN-2AB). FUT9 preferentially fucosylated the distal GlcNAc residue of the polylactosamine chain while the other four alpha1,3FUT members, FUT3, FUT4, FUT5 and FUT6, preferentially fucosylated the inner GlcNAc residue. This indicated that FUT9 exhibits more efficient activity for the synthesis of Lewis x carbohydrate epitope (Le(x); CD15; stage-specific embryonal antigen-1 (SSEA-1)). In contrast, the other four members synthesize more effectively the internal Le(x) epitope. FUT7 could not transfer a fucose to an acceptor which is non-sialylated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The toxins TcdA and TcdB produced by the human pathogen Clostridium difficile gain entrance to host epithelial cells by recognizing cell-surface carbohydrate ligands. Inhibiting the attachment of these toxins to host cells has been proposed to be a viable therapy to treat C. difficile infections. Glycan array screening previously revealed that the Le(A)-LacNAc pentasaccharide binds strongly to TcdA. Here we report the efficient syntheses of the pentasaccharide and a structurally related tetrasaccharide motif. These compounds will be used to better define the carbohydrate-binding specificity of toxins from C. difficile, which will hopefully lead to the development of improved therapeutics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha3-fucosyltransferases (alpha3-FucTs) catalyze the final step in the synthesis of a range of important glycoconjugates that function in cell adhesion and lymphocyte recirculation. Six members of this family of enzymes have been cloned from the human genome, and their expression pattern has been shown to be highly regulated. Each enzyme has a unique acceptor substrate binding pattern, and each generates a unique range of fucosylated products. Results from a range of studies have provided information on amino acids in the FucT sequence that contribute to the differential acceptor specificity for the FucTs, and to the binding of the nucleotide sugar donor GDP-fucose. These results, in conjunction with results obtained from the analysis of the disulfide bond pattern, have provided useful clues about the spatial distribution of amino acids that influence or directly contribute to substrate binding. This information is reviewed here, and a molecular fold prediction is presented which has been constructed based on the available information and current modeling methodology.
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