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2-Fluoro-L-Fucose Is a Metabolically Incorporated Inhibitor of Plant Cell Wall Polysaccharide Fucosylation
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The monosaccharide L-fucose (L-Fuc) is a common component of plant cell wall polysaccharides and other plant glycans, including the hemicellulose xyloglucan, pectic rhamnogalacturonan-I (RG-I) and rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II), arabinogalactan proteins, and N-linked glycans. Mutations compromising the biosynthesis of many plant cell wall polysaccharides are lethal, and as a result, small molecule inhibitors of plant cell wall polysaccharide biosynthesis have been developed because these molecules can be applied at defined concentrations and developmental stages. In this study, we characterize novel small molecule inhibitors of plant fucosylation. 2-fluoro-L-fucose (2F-Fuc) analogs caused severe growth phenotypes when applied to Arabidopsis seedlings, including reduced root growth and altered root morphology. These phenotypic defects were dependent upon the L-Fuc salvage pathway enzyme L-Fucose Kinase/GDP-L-Fucose Pyrophosphorylase (FKGP), suggesting that 2F-Fuc is metabolically converted to the sugar nucleotide GDP-2F-Fuc, which serves as the active inhibitory molecule. The L-Fuc content of cell wall matrix polysaccharides was reduced in plants treated with 2F-Fuc, suggesting that this molecule inhibits the incorporation of L-Fuc into these polysaccharides. Additionally, phenotypic defects induced by 2F-Fuc treatment could be partially relieved by the exogenous application of boric acid, suggesting that 2F-Fuc inhibits RG-II biosynthesis. Overall, the results presented here suggest that 2F-Fuc is a metabolically incorporated inhibitor of plant cellular fucosylation events, and potentially suggest that other 2-fluorinated monosaccharides could serve as useful chemical probes for the inhibition of cell wall polysaccharide biosynthesis.
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