Fluoroacetamide Moieties as NMR Spectroscopy Probes for the Molecular Recognition of GlcNAc-Containing Sugars: Modulation of the CH–p Stacking Interactions by Different Fluorination Patterns

Luca Unione, María Alcalá, Begoña Echeverria, Sonia Serna, Ana Ardá, Antonio Franconetti, F. Javier Cañada, Tammo Diercks, Niels-Christian Reichardt, Jesús Jiménez-Barbero

Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 3957 – 3965


We herein propose the use of fluoroacetamide and difluoroacetamide moieties as sensitive tags for the detection of sugar–protein interactions by simple 1H and/or 19F NMR spectroscopy methods. In this process, we have chosen the binding of N,N’-diacetyl chitobiose, a ubiquitous disaccharide fragment in glycoproteins, by wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA), a model lectin. By using saturation-transfer difference (STD)-NMR spectroscopy, we experimentally demonstrate that, under solution conditions, the molecule that contained the CHF2CONH- moiety is the stronger aromatic binder, followed by the analogue with the CH2FCONHgroup and the natural molecule (with the CH3CONH- fragment). In contrast, the molecule with the CF3CONH- isoster displayed the weakest intermolecular interaction (one order
of magnitude weaker). Because sugar–aromatic CH–p interactions are at the origin of these observations, these results further contribute to the characterization and exploration of these forces and offer an opportunity to use them to unravel complex recognition processes.

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