Chemoenzymatic synthesis of GDP-L-fucose and the Lewis X glycan derivatives

Wei Wang, Tianshun Hu, Patrick A. Frantom, Tianqing Zheng, Brian Gerwe, David Soriano Del Amo, Sarah Garret, Ronald D. Seidel, Peng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Lewis X (Lex)-containing glycans play important roles in numerous cellular processes. However, the absence of robust, facile, and cost-effective methods for the synthesis of Lex and its structurally related analogs has severely hampered the elucidation of the specific functions of these glycan epitopes. Here we demonstrate that chemically defined guanidine 5′-diphosphate-β-L-fucose (GDP-fucose), the universal fucosyl donor, the Lex trisaccharide, and their C-5 substituted derivatives can be synthesized on preparative scales, using a chemoenzymatic approach. This method exploits L-fucokinase/GDP-fucose pyrophosphorylase (FKP), a bifunctional enzyme isolated from Bacteroides fragilis 9343, which converts L-fucose into GDP-fucose via a fucose-1-phosphate (Fuc-1-P) intermediate. Combining the activities of FKP and a Helicobacter pylori α1,3 fucosyltransferase, we prepared a library of Lex trisaccharide glycans bearing a wide variety of functional groups at the fucose C-5 position. These neoglycoconjugates will be invaluable tools for studying Lex-mediated biological processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16096-16101
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 22 2009


  • Catalysis
  • Enzyme
  • Glycobiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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