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Organic & biomolecular chemistry

Expeditious chemoenzymatic synthesis of CD52 glycopeptide antigens.


PMID 20848033

Abstract

CD52 is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycopeptide antigen found on sperm cells and human lymphocytes. Recent structural studies indicate that sperm-associated CD52 antigen carries both a complex type N-glycan and an O-glycan on the polypeptide backbone. To facilitate functional and immunological studies of distinct CD52 glycoforms, we report in this paper the first chemoenzymatic synthesis of homogeneous CD52 glycoforms carrying both N- and O-glycans. The synthetic strategy consists of two key steps: monosaccharide primers GlcNAc and GalNAc were first installed at the pre-determined N- and O-glycosylation sites by a facile solid-phase peptide synthesis, and then the N- and O-glycans were extended by respective enzymatic glycosylations. It was found that the endoglycosidase-catalyzed transglycosylation allowed efficient attachment of an intact N-glycan in a single step at the N-glycosylation site, while the recombinant human T-synthase could independently extend the O-linked GalNAc to form the core 1 O-glycan. This chemoenzymatic approach is highly convergent and permits easy construction of various homogeneous CD52 glycoforms from a common polypeptide precursor. In addition, the introduction of a latent thiol group in the form of protected cysteamine at the C-terminus of the CD52 glycoforms will enable site-specific conjugation to a carrier protein to provide immunogens for generating CD52 glycoform-specific antibodies for functional studies.

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