The design, synthesis and application of N-Acetylneuraminic acid-derived compounds bearing anomeric sulfo functional groups are described. These novel compounds, which we refer to as sulfo-sialic acid analogues, include 2-decarboxy-2-deoxy-2-sulfo-N-Acetylneuraminic acid and its 4-deoxy-3,4-dehydrogenated pseudoglycal. While 2-decarboxy-2-deoxy-2-sulfo-N-Acetylneuraminic acid contains no further modifications of the 2-deoxy-pyranose ring, it is still a more potent inhibitor of avian-origin H5N1 neuraminidase (NA) and drug-resistant His275Tyr NA as compared to the oxocarbenium ion transition state analogue 2,3-dehydro-2-deoxy-N-Acetylneuraminic acid. The sulfo-sialic acid analogues described in this report are also more potent inhibitors of influenza NA (up to 40-fold) and bacterial NA (up to 8.5-fold) relative to the corresponding anomeric phosphonic acids. These results confirm that this novel anomeric sulfo modification offers great potential to improve the potency of next-generation NA inhibitors including covalent inhibitors.
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