Pectin is a highly heterogeneous polysaccharide of plant origin. It is found in the primary cell wall and contributes to various cell functions, including support, defense, signaling, and cell adhesion. Pectin also plays important role as a food additive, serving as stabilizing and thickening agent in products such as jams, yoghurts and jellies. Rhamnogalacturonan I is one of the structural classes of pectic polysaccharides, along with homogalacturonan and rhamnogalacturonan II. The chemical structure of rhamnogalacturonan I is complex having a backbone consisting of alternating -linked L-rhamnose and D-galacturonic acid units with numerous branches of arabinans, galactans or arabinogalactans positioned at C-4 of the rhamnose residues. The structural complexity of pectin together with the wide range of its practical applications and a desire to understand its structure and functions in details have inspired many researches to pursuit chemical syntheses of pectic oligosaccharides. Herein, the strategies for chemical synthesis of linear and branched oligosaccharide fragments of rhamnogalacturonan I are presented.The first successful synthesis of a fully unprotected linear hexasaccharide fragment of the rhamnogalacturonan I backbone has been accomplished. The strategy employs a highly modular approach that takes advantage of the armed-disarmed effect to generate the key n-pentenyl disaccharide donor in a chemoselective fashion. Two protected n-pentenyl tetrasaccharide intermediates bearing the digalactan and the diarabinan side-chains have been synthesized. The suitably protected mono- and disaccharide donors have been utilized in the chemoselective glycosylations. The protective group pattern is designed to allow the assembly of larger branched rhamnogalacturonan I fragments.
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Madsen, Robert, Clausen, Mads Hartvig
Technical University of Denmark, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2013