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Visualizing Metabolically Labeled Glycoconjugates of Living Cells by Copper-Free and Fast Huisgen Cycloadditions


  • This research was supported by the Research Resource Center for Biomedical Complex Carbohydrates (P41-RR-5351). We thank Dr. Heather Flanagan-Steet and Dr. Richard Steet for assistance with confocal microscopy studies.


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CuI-free click: 4-Dibenzocyclooctynol reacts, in the absence of a CuI catalyst, exceptionally fast with azido-containing saccharides and amino acids to give stable triazoles. A biotin-modified derivative is ideally suited for visualizing and tracking glycoconjugates of living cells that are metabolically labeled with azido-containing monosaccharides (see image).