Pyrrolidine-based iminocyclitols are a promising class of glycosidase inhibitors. Reported herein is a convenient epimerization strategy that provides direct access to a range of stereoisomeric iminocyclitol inhibitors of O-GlcNAcase (OGA), the enzyme responsible for catalyzing removal of O-GlcNAc from nucleocytoplasmic proteins. Structural details regarding the binding of these inhibitors to a bacterial homologue of OGA reveal the basis for potency. These compounds are orally available and permeate into rodent brain to increase O-GlcNAc, and should prove useful tools for studying the role of OGA in health and disease.
Bibliographical note© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.