The Boons group is a pioneer in the development of chemoenzymatic strategies to synthesize large collections of N– and O-glycans and human milk oligosaccharides with minimal effort for structure-activity relationship studies. These methods make use of strategically selected substrates that can be diversified in a controlled manner by glycosyl transferase catalyzed transformations. In addition, an automation platform has been introduced for enzyme mediated oligosaccharide synthesis to further speed up the process of glycan assembly. These efforts have resulted in a large collection of compounds that have been used for glycan array development. Screening studies have provided new insights into the molecular mechanisms of carbohydrate-protein binding; particularly, we have shown that glycan recognition is modulated by the presentation of minimal epitopes in the context of complex glycans.
Li T, Liu L, Wei N, Yang JY, Chapla DG, Moremen KW, Boons GJ (2019) An automated platform for the enzyme-mediated assembly of complex oligosaccharides. Nat Chem 11(3):229-236.
Liu L, Prudden AR, Capicciotti CJ, Bosman GP, Yang JY, Chapla DG, Moremen KW, Boons GJ (2019) Streamlining the chemoenzymatic synthesis of complex N-glycans by a stop and go strategy. Nat Chem 11(2):161-169.
Prudden AR, Liu L, Capicciotti CJ, Wolfert MA, Wang S, Gao Z, Meng L, Moremen KW, Boons GJ (2017) Synthesis of asymmetrical multiantennary human milk oligosaccharides. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(27):6954-6959.
Wang Z, Chinoy Z, Ambre S, Peng W, McBride R, de Vries RP, Glushka J, Paulson JC, Boons GJ (2013) A general strategy for the chemoenzymatic synthesis of asymmetrically branched N-glycans. Science 341(6144):379-383.