Towards the synthesis of PNAG crosslinkers to identify protein binding partners

Thumbnail Image

Publication or External Link





Bacterial biofilms are an area of major concern in the medical field due to natural drug resistance. Many pathogenetic species of bacteria that infect humans including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Vibrio cholera form biofilms and their associated infections are becoming harder to treat. Poly β-(1→6)-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (PNAG) is a major component of biofilms across multiple species and has been found to play a key role in the early stages of the biofilm life-cycle. However, little information is known about what proteins interact with this important polysaccharide. Our goal is to create small PNAG analogues to covalently capture and identify PNAG binding partners in E. coli, an important model organism. PNAG analogues will contain photoaffinity groups, that when activated, covalently link associated proteins to the probe. Then, using a proteomics-mass spectrometry-based approach, we will identify PNAG binding partners. Here, we describe the efforts and challenges encountered synthesizing the final PNAG probes. New synthetic routes are proposed based on literature precedent that will enable synthesis of the desired compounds.