Heparin is a highly sulfated, complex polysaccharide and widely used anticoagulant pharmaceutical. In this work, we chemoenzymatically synthesized perdeuteroheparin from biosynthetically enriched heparosan precursor obtained from microbial culture in deuterated medium. Chemical de-N-acetylation, chemical N-sulfation, enzymatic epimerization, and enzymatic sulfation with recombinant heparin biosynthetic enzymes afforded perdeuteroheparin comparable to pharmaceutical heparin. A series of applications for heavy heparin and its heavy biosynthetic intermediates are demonstrated, including generation of stable isotope labeled disaccharide standards, development of a non-radioactive NMR assay for glucuronosyl-C5-epimerase, and background-free quantification of in vivo half-life following administration to rabbits. We anticipate that this approach can be extended to produce other isotope-enriched glycosaminoglycans.
Keywords: chemoenzymatic synthesis; deuterated drugs; heparin; pharmacology; stable isotope labeling.
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