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We have previously reported that the imino sugar N-butyldeoxynojirimycin (NB-DNJ) inhibits glycolipid biosynthesis, in addition to its known activity as an inhibitor of the N-linked oligosaccharide processing enzyme alpha-glucosidase I. In an attempt to dissociate these two activities and identify an inhibitor which was more selective for the glycolipid biosynthetic pathway, several imino sugars have been N-alkylated and tested for inhibitory activity. The galactose analogue N-butyldeoxygalactonojirimycin (NB-DGJ) was found to be a potent inhibitor of glycolipid biosynthesis but in contrast to NB-DNJ had no effect on the maturation of N-linked oligosaccharides or on lysosomal glucocerebrosidase. The effect of increasing N-alkyl chain length on glycolipid inhibition was investigated. Nonalkylated DGJ, the N-methyl and N-ethyl derivatives, were noninhibitory. However, N-propylation resulted in partial inhibition while the N-butyl and N-hexyl derivatives resulted in maximal inhibition. Increasing alkyl chain length also resulted in increased potency of glucosyltransferase inhibition. In an in vitro Gaucher's disease model NB-DGJ was as effective as NB-DNJ in preventing glycolipid storage and may represent a more selective potential therapeutic agent than NB-DNJ for the management of this and other glycosphingolipidoses.


Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





27108 - 27114


1-Deoxynojirimycin, Animals, Cells, Cultured, Disease Models, Animal, Gaucher Disease, Glucosylceramidase, Glucosyltransferases, Glycolipids, Humans, Mice, Oligosaccharides, Structure-Activity Relationship, alpha-Glucosidases