Synthesis of four novel trisaccharides by induction of loose acceptor specificity in Galβ31→4 transferase (EC Galp(β1→4)Glcp(X)Glc where X =β1→3: β1→4: β1

Eunsun Yoon, LSU Agricultural Center
Roger A. Laine, Louisiana State University


Development of tandem mass spectral methods for direct linkage determination in oligosaccharides requires sets of trisaccharides differing only in one structural parameter. In this case, we chose the position of linkage to the reducing-end hexose. These sets of compounds would also be useful for the development of high-resolution separation techniques geared to resolve linkage types. Conventional organic synthesis of such a set could take as long as 2-5 months for each member of the set. Each trisaccharide would require 10-20 steps of synthesis. Instead, we utilized low pH to induce a loose acceptor specificity for bovine milk galactosyltransferase (lactose synthase: EC and by this method, within 2 weeks, generated four novel oligosaccharides for NMR and mass spectral studies. The disaccharides cellobiose (β1→4), laminaribiose (β1→3), gentiobiose (β1→6) and maltose (α1→4) acted as acceptors for EC under these conditions. The β1→2-linked disaccharide, sophorose, was not commercially available and is not included in this study. The α-linked disaccharides were also examined, but except for the α1→4 disaccharide maltose, were very poor acceptors under a variety of conditions. From these four acceptors, the following four novel trisaccharides were synthesized in micromole amounts, suitable for studies of linkage position using low-energy collision-induced-dissociation tandem mass spectrometry (FAB-MS-CID-MS), and for NMR: Galp(β1→4)Glcp(β1→3)-Glc, Galp(β1→4)Glcp(β1→4)Glc, Galp(β1→4)Glcp(β1→6)-Glc and Galp(β1→4)Glcp(α1→4)Glc. © 1992 Oxford University Press.