Synthesis of highly water-soluble fluorescent conjugated glycopoly(p-phenylene)s for lectin and Escherichia coli

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Two facile, convenient, and versatile synthetic approaches are used to covalently attach carbohydrate residues to conjugated poly(p-phenylene)s (PPPs) for highly water-soluble PPPs bearing α-mannopyranosyl and β-glucopyranosyl pendants (polymers A and B), which highly fluoresce in phosphate buffer (pH 7.0). The post-polymerization functionalization approach is to treat bromo-bearing PPP (polymer 1) with 1-thiolethyl-α-D-mannose tetraacetate or 1-thiol-β-D-glucose tetraacetate in THF solution in the presence of K2CO3 at room temperature through formation of thioether bridges, affording polymer 2a or 2b. The prepolymerization functionalization approach is to polymerize a well-defined sugar-carrying monomer, affording polymer 2a. Polymers 2a and 2b were deacetylated under Zemplén conditions in methanol and methylene chloride containing sodium methoxide, affording polymers A and B, respectively. The multivalent display of carbohydrates on the fluorescent conjugated glycopolymer overcomes the characteristic low binding affinity of the individual carbohydrates to their receptor proteins. Titration of concanavalin A (Con A) to α-mannose-bearing polymer A resulted in significant fluorescent quenching of the polymer with Stern-Volmer quenching constant of 4.5 × 107. Incubation of polymer A with Escherichia coli (E. coli) lead to formation of fluorescently stained bacterial clusters. β-Glucose-bearing polymer B displayed no response to Con A and E. coli. © 2006 American Chemical Society.

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