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Title: Nanovesicles displaying functional linear and branched oligomannose self-assembled from sequence-defined Janus glycodendrimers
Cell surfaces are often decorated with glycoconjugates that contain linear and more complex symmetrically and asymmetrically branched carbohydrates essential for cellular recognition and communication processes. Mannose is one of the fundamental building blocks of glycans in many biological membranes. Moreover, oligomannoses are commonly found on the surface of pathogens such as bacteria and viruses as both glycolipids and glycoproteins. However, their mechanism of action is not well understood, even though this is of great potential interest for translational medicine. Sequence-defined amphiphilic Janus glycodendrimers containing simple mono- and disaccharides that mimic glycolipids are known to self-assemble into glycodendrimersomes, which in turn resemble the surface of a cell by encoding carbohydrate activity via supramolecular multivalency. The synthetic challenge of preparing Janus glycodendrimers containing more complex linear and branched glycans has so far prevented access to more realistic cell mimics. However, the present work reports the use of an isothiocyanate-amine “click”-like reaction between isothiocyanate-containing sequence-defined amphiphilic Janus dendrimers and either linear or branched oligosaccharides containing up to six monosaccharide units attached to a hydrophobic amino-pentyl linker, a construct not expected to assemble into glycodendrimersomes. Unexpectedly, these oligoMan-containing dendrimers, which have their hydrophobic linker connected via a thiourea group to the amphiphilic part of more » Janus glycodendrimers, self-organize into nanoscale glycodendrimersomes. Specifically, the mannose-binding lectins that best agglutinate glycodendrimersomes are those displaying hexamannose. Lamellar “raft-like” nanomorphologies on the surface of glycodendrimersomes, self-organized from these sequence-defined glycans, endow these membrane mimics with high biological activity. « less
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Award ID(s):
1659512 1807127
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
11931 to 11939
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    The effect of the two‐dimensional glycan display on glycan‐lectin recognition remains poorly understood despite the importance of these interactions in a plethora of cellular processes, in (patho)physiology, as well as its potential for advanced therapeutics. Faced with this challenge we utilized glycodendrimersomes, a type of synthetic vesicles whose membrane mimics the surface of a cell and offers a means to probe the carbohydrate biological activity. These single‐component vesicles were formed by the self‐assembly of sequence‐defined mannose‐Janus dendrimers, which serve as surrogates for glycolipids. Using atomic force microscopy and molecular modeling we demonstrated that even mannose, a monosaccharide, was capable of organizing the sugar moieties into periodic nanoarrays without the need of the formation of liquid‐ordered phases as assumed necessary for rafts. Kinetics studies of Concanavalin A binding revealed that those nanoarrays resulted in a new effective ligand yielding a ten‐fold increase in the kinetic and thermodynamic constant of association.

  2. Self-assembling dendrimers have facilitated the discovery of periodic and quasiperiodic arrays of supramolecular architectures and the diverse functions derived from them. Examples are liquid quasicrystals and their approximants plus helical columns and spheres, including some that disregard chirality. The same periodic and quasiperiodic arrays were subsequently found in block copolymers, surfactants, lipids, glycolipids, and other complex molecules. Here we report the discovery of lamellar and hexagonal periodic arrays on the surface of vesicles generated from sequence-defined bicomponent monodisperse oligomers containing lipid and glycolipid mimics. These vesicles, known as glycodendrimersomes, act as cell-membrane mimics with hierarchical morphologies resembling bicomponent rafts. These nanosegregated morphologies diminish sugar–sugar interactions enabling stronger binding to sugar-binding proteins than densely packed arrangements of sugars. Importantly, this provides a mechanism to encode the reactivity of sugars via their interaction with sugar-binding proteins. The observed sugar phase-separated hierarchical arrays with lamellar and hexagonal morphologies that encode biological recognition are among the most complex architectures yet discovered in soft matter. The enhanced reactivity of the sugar displays likely has applications in material science and nanomedicine, with potential to evolve into related technologies.
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