Chemoenzymatic synthesis of unmodified heparin oligosaccharides: cleavage of p-nitrophenyl glucuronide by alkaline and Smith degradation†
A heparin oligosaccharide having a completely natural structure was successfully synthesized through a chemoenzymatic approach using an unnatural glycosyl acceptor, p-nitrophenyl glucuronide (GlcA-pNP). The use of an inexpensive and commercially available GlcA-pNP acceptor facilitates oligosaccharide recovery and purification on C-18 resin during chemoenzymatic synthesis. Oligosaccharide chain extension and modification afforded a heptasaccharide with gluconic acid residues at its reducing and non-reducing ends. Treatment with periodate oxidation followed by Smith degradation or alkaline elimination resulted in the selective cleavage of vicinal diol-containing glucuronic acid residues affording highly sulfated heparin pentasaccharides having a completely natural structure. This methodology should facilitate the chemoenzymatic synthesis of a family of highly sulfated heparin oligosaccharides with unmodified structures for biological evaluation.