Analysis of E. coli K5 capsular polysaccharide heparosan
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Heparosan is the key precursor for the preparation of bioengineered heparin, a potential replacement for porcine intestinal heparin, an important anticoagulant drug. The molecular weight (MW) distribution of heparosan produced by the fermentation of E. coli K5 was investigated. Large-slab isocratic and mini-slab gradient polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) were used to analyze the MW and polydispersity of heparosan. A preparative method that allowed fractionation by continuous-elution PAGE was used to obtain heparosan MW standards. The MWs of the heparosan standards were determined by electrospray ionization Fourier-transform mass spectrometry (ESI-FT-MS). A ladder of the standards was then used to determine the MW properties of polydisperse heparosan samples. Unbleached and bleached heparosan produced by fermentation of E. coli K5 had similar number-averaged MWs (MN), weight-averaged MWs (MW), and MW ranges of 3,000 to 150,000 Da.
KeywordsE. coli K5 capsular polysaccharide Heparosan Molecular weight determination PAGE ESI-FT-MS Continuous-elution preparative electrophoresis
The authors are grateful to the National Institutes of Health for supporting this research with grants GM38060 and HL096972.
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