Solid-supported boronic acid conjugates for sugar and glycopeptide recognition

  • Peter C. Chisnall

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Fmoc synthetic strategy was employed to synthesise two identical combinatorial peptide libraries on a hydrophilic PEG-PS resin. One library was appended with boronic acid moieties at two positionally-fixed locations. Successful inclusion of the boronic acid units was confirmed using a novel UV fluorescent colorimetric assay employing carminic acid as the dye compound. A study of the effect had by the resin-bound peptides bearing boronic acid groups on the binding characteristics of vancomycin, a medically relevant antibiotic glycoprotein, was conducted. In all, 132 library compounds were tested for their binding affinity with vancomycin, via immobilisation of the glycopeptide onto the solid support through hydrogen bonding or complexation with the boronic acid moieties. Subsequent cleavage via acidolysis afforded vancomycin containing solutions which were quantified by growth inhibition of methicillin susceptible Staphylococcus aureus. Comparison of the diameters of the resultant zones of inhibition and those produced by vancomycin of known concentrations afforded a means of calculating the vancomycin concentration of the cleavage solutions, and thereby determining the binding affinity of vancomycin to each peptide sequence. Five peptide sequences and twenty one of the peptidyl-boronic acid sequences showed zones of inhibition, demonstrating their reversible affinity for vancomycin. Three peptide sequences showed zones of inhibition in both libraries. The presence of boronic acid was therefore shown to impart, enhance, detract and remove the affinity of vancomycin to a range of resin-bound peptide sequences.
Date of AwardOct 2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAndrew J Sutherland (Supervisor)


  • solid-supported resins
  • boronic acid
  • carbohydrate recognition
  • vancomycin
  • combinatorial peptide library

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