Sialylmimetics as Potential Inhibitors fo Vibrio Cholerae Sialidase

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Itzstein, Mark von

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Thomson, Robin

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Cholera is an epidemic infectious diarrhoeal disease that for centuries has proven its frightening ability to cause rapid and widespread loss of human life. All symptoms associated with cholera are a result of rapid dehydration due to infection by pathogenic strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The damaging effects associated with cholera are mainly attributed to the toxin, which is secreted by the bacterium and infects cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. A sialidase, also secreted by the bacterium, is believed to facilitate toxin uptake by the gastrointestinal epithelium. V. cholerae sialidase is therefore a potential target for therapeutic intervention. A survey of the literature reveals that sialidases from different species share common features with respect to their structure, substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism. The unsaturated sialic acid, Neu5Ac2en, inhibits most exosialidases with a dissociation constant of inhibitor of -10-4 to-10-6 M and has frequently been used as a template in the design of more potent sialidase inhibitors. In the case of V. cholerae sialidase, there have been no inhibitors reported to date that are significantly more potent than Neu5Ac2en itself The present research aimed to develop a range of mimics of Neu5Ac2en, which contain various substituents to replace the C-6 glycerol side chain, as potential inhibitors of V cholerae sialidase. The x-ray crystal structure of V cholerae sialidase was used to explore potential interactions between active site residues and C-6 modified Neu5Ac2en mimetics of known inhibitory potency. Opportunities for interactions within the glycerol side chain pocket in the active site of V cholerae sialidase are discussed. A novel synthetic strategy was developed for the synthesis of a series of glucuronidebased Neu5Ac2en mimetics starting from readily available GIcNAc. This approach was employed for the preparation of Neu5Ac2en mimetics that contained an ether or thioether substituent as replacement of the glycerol side chain of Neu5Ac2en. Progress was also made towards the synthesis of a series of C-6 acylamino Neu5Ac2en mimetics. Analysis by 1H NMR spectroscopy showed that the acylamino derivatives adopted a half-chair conformation that was similar to the conformation of Neu5Ac2en but different to the conformation adopted by the ether and thioether derivatives prepared. The inhibitory activity of the C-6 ether and thioether Neu5Ac2en mimetics prepared was evaluated in vitro using an enzyme assay. It was found that most of the derivatives inhibited V. cholerae sialidase with a K1 of approximately 1O-4 M. The derivatives containing a hydrophobic side chain were found to be slightly more potent compared to derivatives with more hydrophilic side chains. A more detailed study of binding interactions between the C-6 thioether Neu5Ac2en mimetics and V cholerae sialdiase was carried out using STD 1H NMR spectroscopy and computational molecular modelling.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences

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v. cholerae sialidase

dissociation constant of inhibitor

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