Metabolic labeling with unnatural sugar substrates is a powerful alternative for investigating glycoconjugates in living organisms. Trehalose glycolipids can be metabolically labeled with 6-azide-modified trehalose (TreAz) analogues in live mycobacteria, enabling bioorthogonal ligation with alkyne-functionalized fluorescent probes. This strategy can be used for imaging glycolipid distribution, trafficking, and dynamics as well as metabolite profiling and discovery.
- Swarts, B.M., et al. (2012). Probing the Mycobacterial Trehalome with Bioorthogonal Chemistry.J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134: 13123-6. [PubMed]