Glycosidases are key enzymes in metabolism, pathogenic/antipathogenic mechanisms and normal cellular functions. Recently, a novel approach for glycosidase inhibition that conveys multivalent glycomimetic conjugates has emerged. Many questions regarding the mechanism(s) of multivalent enzyme inhibition remain unanswered. Herein we report the synthesis of a collection of novel homo- and heterovalent glyco(mimetic)-fullerenes purposely conceived for probing the contribution of non-catalytic pockets in glysosidases to the multivalent inhibitory effect. Their affinities towards selected glycosidases were compared with data from homovalent fullerene conjugates. An original competitive glycosidase–lectin binding assay demonstrated that the multivalent derivatives and the substrate compete for low affinity non-glycone binding sites of the enzyme, leading to inhibition by a “recognition and blockage” mechanism. Most notably, this work provides evidence for enzyme inhibition by multivalent glycosystems, which will likely have a strong impact in the glycosciences given the utmost relevance of multivalency in Nature.
- binding modes