NMR spectroscopy and MD simulations of carbohydrates

University dissertation from Stockholm : Department of Organic Chemistry, Stockholm University

Abstract: Knowledge about the structure, conformation and dynamics of carbohydrates is important in our understanding of the way carbohydrates function in biological systems, for example in intermolecular signaling and recognition. This thesis is a summary of five papers studying these properties in carbohydrate-containing molecules with NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations.In paper I, the ring-conformations of the six-membered rings of two carbaiduronic analogs were investigated. These carbasugars could potentially be used as hydrolytically stable mimics of iduronic acid in drugs. The study showed that the equilibrium is entirely shifted towards the 4C1 conformation.Paper II is an investigation of the conformational flexibility and dynamics of two (1→6)-linked disaccharides related to an oligosaccharide epitope expressed on malignant tumor cells.In paper III, the conformational space of the glycosidic linkage of an alfa-(1→2) linked mannose disaccharide present in N- and O-linked glycoproteins, was studied. A maximum entropy analysis using different priors as background information was used and four new Karplus equations for 3JC,C and 3JC,H coupling constants, related to the glycosidic linkage, were presented.Paper IV describes a structural elucidation of the exopolysaccharide (EPS) produced by Streptococcus thermophilus ST1, a major dairy starter used in yoghurt and cheese production. The EPS contains a hexasaccharide repeating unit of d-galactose and d-glucose residues, which is a new EPS structure of the S. thermophilus species.In paper V, the dynamics of three generations of glycodendrimers were investigated by NMR diffusion and 13C NMR relaxation studies. Three different correlations times were identified, one global correlation time describing the rotation of the dendrimer as a whole, one local correlation time describing the reorientation of the C-H vectors, and one correlation time describing the pulsation of a dendrimer branch.

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