Studies into the Stereo Selective Synthesis of Glycosidase Inhibitors.
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The goal of our research was to develop an enantiopure glycosidase inhibitor. Glycosidase inhibitors are similar in structure to sugar molecules, and therefore lock up enzymes used in the consumption of sugars for respiration. By denying the cells the energy that they need, the cells eventually die off. Glycosidase inhibitors have tremendous potential in the field of angiogenesis in the treatment of cancer patients. Using a natural enzyme found in almonds, oxynitrilase, we are able to create a 99% enantiopure starting material to build upon. This is important considering that enzymes function based upon molecular shape, and stereo chemistry is a huge factor in determining molecular shape.