Synthesis of a phenyl thio--D-galactopyranoside library from 1,5-difluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene: discovery of efficient and selective monosaccharide inhibitors of galectin-7

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The galectins are a family of -galactoside-binding proteins that have been implicated in cancer and inflammation processes. Herein, we report the synthesis of a library of 28 compounds that was tested for binding to galectins-1, -3, -7, -8N and -9N. An aromatic nucleophilic substitution reaction between 1,5-difluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and a galacto thiol gave 5-fluoro-2,4-dinitrophenyl 2,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-1-thio--D-galactopyranoside. This versatile intermediate was then modified in a two dimensional manner: either by further substitution of the second fluoride by amines or thiols, or by reduction of the nitro groups and acylation of the resulting amines, or both. Deacetylation then gave a library of aromatic -galactosides that showed variable inhibitory activity against the different galectins, as shown by screening with a fluorescence-polarisation assay. Particularly efficient inhibitors were found against galectin-7, while less impressive enhancements of inhibitor affinity over methyl -D-galactopyranoside were found for galectin-1, -3, -8N and -9N. The best inhibitors against galectin-7 showed significantly higher affinity (Kd as low as 140 µM) than both -methyl galactoside (Kd 4.8 mM) and the unsubstituted -phenyl thiogalactoside (non-inhibitory). The best inhibitors against galectin-7 were poor against the other galectins and thus have potential as structurally simple and selective tools for dissecting biological functions of galectin-7.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Organic Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1922-1932
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Organic chemistry (S/LTH) (011001240), Division of Microbiology, Immunology and Glycobiology - MIG (013025200), Paediatrics (Lund) (013002000)