Novel Reversible Fluorescent Glycan Linker for Functional Glycomics


Wei M, McKitrick TR, Mehta AY, Gao C, Jia N, McQuillan AM, Heimburg-Molinaro J, Sun L, Cummings RD. Novel Reversible Fluorescent Glycan Linker for Functional Glycomics. Bioconjug Chem. 2019;30 (11) :2897-2908.

Date Published:

2019 11 20


To aid in generating complex and diverse natural glycan libraries for functional glycomics, more efficient and reliable methods are needed to derivatize glycans. Here we present our development of a reversible, cleavable bifunctional linker 3-(methoxyamino)propylamine (MAPA). As the fluorenylmethyloxycarbonate (Fmoc) version (F-MAPA), it is highly fluorescent and efficiently derivatizes free reducing glycans to generate closed-ring derivatives that preserve the structural integrity of glycans. A library of glycans were derivatized and used to generate a covalent glycan microarray using -hydroxysuccinimide derivatization. The array was successfully interrogated by a variety of lectins and antibodies, demonstrating the importance of closed-ring chemistry. The glycan derivatization was also performed at large scale using milligram quantities of glycans and excess F-MAPA, and the reaction system was successfully recycled up to five times, without an apparent decrease in conjugation efficiency. The MAPA-glycan is also easy to link to protein to generate neoglycoproteins with equivalent glycan densities. Importantly, the MAPA linker can be reversibly cleaved to regenerate free reducing glycans for detailed structural analysis (catch-and-release), often critical for functional studies of undefined glycans from natural sources. The high conjugation efficiency, bright fluorescence, and reversible cleavage of the linker enable access to natural glycans for functional glycomics.