A benzoboroxole-based affinity ligand for glycoprotein purification at physiological pH

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Developing ligands capable of carbohydrate recognition has become increasingly important as the essential roles of glycoproteins and glycolipids in a diverse array of cellular signaling, pathophysiology, and immune response mechanisms are elucidated. Effective ligands for the glycan portion of glycoproteins and glycolipids are needed for pre-enrichment proteomics strategies, as well as for the purification of individual glycoproteins from complex biological milieu encountered both in biochemistry research and bio-pharmaceutical development. In this work, we developed a carbohydrate specific affinity ligand for glycoprotein purification using a one-pot, multi-component synthesis reaction (Ugi synthesis) and an amine-functionalized benzoboroxole moiety immobilized on agarose beads. Benzoboroxoles are unique boronic acid derivatives that have recently been found to bind specifically to the cis-diol groups of carbohydrates at physiological pH, with superior affinity to any other Wulff-type boronic acid. The solid-phase affinity ligand developed herein specifically binds the carbohydrate moiety of the glycoprotein glucose oxidase, as well as a fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran, as shown through deglycosylation binding studies. Additionally, the ligand is able to purify glucose oxidase from crude Escherichia coli lysate, at physiological pH, equitably to commercially available boronic acid-functionalized agarose beads that required alkaline pH conditions. Thus, this affinity ligand is a marked improvement on current, commercially available boronic acid-based glycoprotein enrichment matrices and has the potential to exhibit high individual glycoprotein specificity because of the additional functional groups available for variation on the Ugi scaffold. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.