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Thio-Linked UDP–Peptide Conjugates as O‑GlcNAc Transferase Inhibitors

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journal contribution
posted on 03.05.2018, 00:00 authored by Karim Rafie, Andrii Gorelik, Riccardo Trapannone, Vladimir S. Borodkin, Daan M. F. van Aalten
O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) is an essential glycosyltransferase that installs the O-GlcNAc post-translational modification on the nucleocytoplasmic proteome. We report the development of S-linked UDP–peptide conjugates as potent bisubstrate OGT inhibitors. These compounds were assembled in a modular fashion by photoinitiated thiol–ene conjugation of allyl-UDP and optimal acceptor peptides in which the acceptor serine was replaced with cysteine. The conjugate VTPVC­(S-propyl-UDP)­TA (Ki = 1.3 μM) inhibits the OGT activity in HeLa cell lysates. Linear fusions of this conjugate with cell penetrating peptides were explored as prototypes of cell-penetrant OGT inhibitors. A crystal structure of human OGT with the inhibitor revealed mimicry of the interactions seen in the pseudo-Michaelis complex. Furthermore, a fluorophore-tagged derivative of the inhibitor works as a high affinity probe in a fluorescence polarimetry hOGT assay.