A good imitation: Di- and trisaccharide analogues of the oxazoline intermediate formed during enzymatic hydrolysis of chitin were found to be potent inhibitors of chitinase A. The high affinity and enzymatic stability of a readily synthesized thioamide trisaccharide (two molecules of which are shown in the enzyme active site), and the mechanism-based mode of inhibition, make this analogue a promising candidate for broad-spectrum chitinase inhibition.
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