Selective detection of epimeric pentose saccharides at physiological pH using a fluorescent receptor
Epimerisation between ribofuranose and arabinofuranose sugars is crucial in several biosynthetic pathways, but is typically challenging to monitor. Here, we have screened for fluorescent boronic acids that can be used as molecular probes for the specific detection of ribofuranose over arabinofuranose sugars in solution. We show excellent specificity of the fluorescent response of 3-biphenylboronic acid to ribofuranose at physiological pH. This provides a tool for in situ monitoring of carbohydrate modifying enzymes and provides a viable alternative to traditional radiolabelled assays. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.