A Tour de Force in Carbohydrate Synthesis

The synthesis of an arabinogalactan fragment containing 92 monosaccharide units establishes a new record in carbohydrate synthesis.

The arabinogalactan fragment being an essential component of the cell wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacteria could provide the basis if novel tuberculosis vaccines. The synthesis was performed using a preactivation-based one-pot glycosylation protocol. Structural components were constructed in one-pot manner and subsequently assembled throughout a highly convergent coupling reaction. This is a fantastic illustration of what traditional carbohydrate synthetic methods can achieved and is likely to catalyse future work in large-glycan synthesis.