We report a straight-forward enzymatic synthesis of the 4-methylumbelliferyl glycoside of a complex-type oligosaccharide substrate for core-fucosylation. We demonstrate the use of this synthetic glycoconjugate in a newly developed enzyme assay to probe the activity and inhibition of fucosyltransferase VIII, which catalyzes the core fucosylation of N-glycans on eukaryotic glycoproteins. In this fucosyltransferase assay, we use the fluorogenic probe and a specific glycosidase in a sequential coupled enzyme reaction to distinguish an unmodified 4-methylumbelliferyl oligosaccharide probe from a fucosylated probe. Our findings show that this strategy is very sensitive and very specific in its detection of enzyme activity and can even be used for analyzing impure tissue lysate samples.
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