Zhao Group
School of Chemical Biology & Biotechnology

Bifunctional Unnatural Sialic Acids for Dual Metabolic Labeling of Cell-Surface Sialylated Glycans


(3/6/2013, reported by Jolin)

Sialic acid analogues containing a unique chemical functionality or chemical reporter have been metabolically incorporated into sialylated glycans. This process is termed metabolic glycan labeling and has been emerged as a powerful tool for studying sialylation as well as other types of glycosylation. Currently, this technique can only install a single functionality. In a just accepted paper in Journal of the American Chemical Society, researcher describe a strategy for dual labeling of sialylated glycans using a new class of bifunctional sialic acid analogues. They designed and synthesized sialic acid analogues containing two distinct chemical reporters at both N-acyl and C-9 positions. They demonstrated that these bi-functional unnatural sialic acids were metabolically incorporated into cellular glycans and the two chemical reporters exerted their distinct functions. This approach expands the capability of metabolic glycan labeling on probing sialyation and glycan-protein interactions.