Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a ubiquitous glycosaminoglycan in the extracellular matrix and a ligand of CD44, a transmembrane glycoprotein that is important in cell migration. Crystal and NMR studies found a hexasaccharide of the pattern (GlcA-GlcNAc)(3)as the shortest HA that could bind to CD44, but molecular dynamics simulations indicated that a tetrasaccharide of the pattern (GlcNAc-GlcA)(2)is the key structure interacting with CD44. Access to oligomers with such a repeat pattern is crucial in binding studies with CD44. Here we developed a synthetic procedure to afford the HA oligosaccharides with the GlcNAc-GlcA repeating unit and measured the binding interaction between these sugars and human CD44 by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). During the chemical synthesis, we successfully generated the beta-glycosidic bond in the absence of neighbouring group participation and overcome the issues in the oxidation step. In addition, ammonia-free dissolving metal reduction for debenzylation and azido reduction has been applied in carbohydrate synthesis for the first time. ITC analysis revealed that the HA tetrasaccharide (GlcNAc-GlcA)(2)could indeed interact and bind to the human CD44.
- SOLID-PHASE SYNTHESIS