RSC Carbohydrate Meeting in Belfast and first SugarCoat Team Meeting

Members of the team attended the RSC Carbohydrate Interest Group Annual Meeting at Queens University Belfast. Joe gave an oral presentation in the Great Hall. There were many interesting international speakers including Alexander Titz and Ulf Nilssen, as well as contributors from the UK and Ireland. The event was co-sponsored by the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland also (Division on Medicinal Chemistry), making it an excellent all-island event. Thanks to Gerd Wagner and Aisling Ní Cheallaigh, among others, for organising.

This meeting also gave an opportunity for the first in-person meeting of the full team of the SugarCoat North South Research Programme project – funded by the Shared Island Fund and the HEA. Postdoc Dr Hannah Crory has been working in the Wylie/McCoy lab in the School of Pharmacy, QUB.

New article in RSC Advances: Glycoclusters with anti-biofilm activity

Our new article, published in RSC Advances (a Gold Open Access journal), describes a series of new ruthenium-centred glycoclusters, which present four carbohydrate motifs around a three-dimensional octahedral scaffold. Multivalent glycoclusters have previously shown the ability to inhibit the carbohydrate-binding proteins which are produced by bacterium P. aeruginosa. Gordon Cooke’s group in TU Dublin tested these new compounds for their ability to inhibit growth of biofilm by P. aeruginosa and we observed that complex 8Gal, with flexible arms between the scaffold core and the galactose motif gave up to 80% inhibition of biofilm, when compared to the control – the other complexes and the ligand did not show antimicrobial activity. We propose that this activity is due to the ability of galactose to interact with the carbohydrate-binding protein LecA.

We thank Science Foundation Ireland for financial support for this work, as well as UCD School of Medicine’s SSRA Scheme, where preliminary studies began.

New paper in ChemCatChem

Joe was part of a collaborative project between University of Bern (Switzerland) and Universitat Jaume I (Spain), which was recently published in ChemCatChem. This work describes the use of mesoionic iridium(III)-NHC complexes as catalysts for efficient dehydrogenation of carbohydrates in water. Without the need for additives, these complexes compare were to previous work published by Dr Jose Mata’s group, using imdazolylidene iridium(III) complexes, along with sulfuric acid.

DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202000544R1

Introducing abnormal triazolylidene NHC complexes from the Albrecht lab, allowed for this further enhancement of activity for this interesting reaction, which releases hydrogen from carbohydrate substrates, giving only the carbohydrate acid (e.g. gluconic acid) as a by-product, which has potential utility as a initial platform chemical for further synthesis, derived from biomass feedstocks.