A practical guide to structural analysis of carbohydratesThe structural analysis (structure determination) of oligo- and polysaccharides differs greatly from that of proteins and nucleic acids. The latter consist of unbranched chains of residues linked in predetermined positions. The determination of their structure merly requires the correct sequence of residues to be detemined (this is also refered to as sequence determination or sequencing).
Oligo- and polysaccharides on the other hand are often branched and the monosaccharide residues can be linked in different positions. Thus, the structure determination of a glycan involves the following steps:
The original manuscript, excluding figures, was translated to HTML by Roland Stenutz in 1996.
Although it has been updated every now and then there are still many omissions and errors so be careful when using it and do not rely its accuracy.
Some of the reagents used are highly toxic and/or corrosive and must be handled with extreme care. In most cases normal laboratory practice will suffice (fume hood, lab coat, safety goggles).
Corrections and additions are most welcome and should be addressed to Roland Stenutz, firstname.lastname@example.org.