Structural Analysis of Sulfated Polysaccharides
Pp. 328-357 (30)
María C. Matulewicz and Marina Ciancia
Sulfated polysaccharides are widely distributed in nature. The aim of this
chapter is to give a brief description of methods of structural characterization of
sulfated galactans, fucans, mannans, and arabinans from seaweeds, and sulfated
polysaccharides rich in uronic acids (glycosaminoglycans and polysaccharides from
green seaweeds), among other sulfated biopolymers.
These polysaccharides are heterogeneous with respect to chain length and sulfate
content and must be purified to homogeneity before structural analysis is carried out.
Structural analysis of sulfated polysaccharides may be carried out by chemical
methods: carbohydrate and sulfate content, monosaccharide composition, methylation/
ethylation and desulfation-methylation/ethylation, Smith degradation, etc.
Herein, the application of matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization (MALDI) and
electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry (MS), and nuclear magnetic resonance
spectroscopy (NMR) in some of their wide variety of experimental methods is
1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, together with 2D NMR techniques, provide very
important information about sequence, interresidue linkage position and substitution
pattern. MALDI-MS and ESI-MS have become important tools in the last years,
however, they have limitations due to the labile nature of the sulfate group. In MALDIMS,
desorption difficulties with increasing molecular weight were also found. Thus,
before application of mass spectrometry, depolymerization in controlled conditions is
ESI-MS, Glycosaminoglycans, MALDI-MS, NMR spectroscopy,
Sulfated arabinans, Sulfated fucans, Sulfated galactans, Sulfated polysaccharides.
Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Departamento de Química Orgánica. Pabellón II, 3er P., Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EGA Buenos Aires, Argentina.