Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Carbohydrate Circular Dichroism

  • Kunihiko GekkoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_86-1



Circular dichroism (CD) is defined as the difference between the absorptivity of left- and right-circularly polarized light. Chiral molecules containing asymmetric carbon atoms have different optical activities for the two circularly polarized components, which results in characteristic CD spectra in the visible to vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) region. Since CD is very sensitive to the chemical bonds and substituents (i.e., chromophores) surrounding asymmetric carbon atoms, CD spectroscopy is a powerful technique for analyzing the stereochemistry and conformation of organic compounds and biomolecules (Fasman 1996; Berova et al. 2000). Carbohydrates contain hydroxyl and acetal groups with high-energy electronic transitions below 190 nm, which is the short-wavelength limit of conventional CD spectrophotometers in aqueous solution. CD measurements have been extended into the VUV region below 190 nm by improvements to the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Berova N, Nakanishi K, Woody RW (2000) Circular dichroism: principles and application, 2nd edn. Wiley-VCH, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Fasman GD (1996) Circular dichroism and the conformational analysis of biomolecules. Plenum, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Johnson WC Jr (1987) The circular dichroism of carbohydrates. In: Tipson RS, Horton D (eds) Advances in carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry, vol 45. Academic, New York, pp 73–124Google Scholar
  4. Kanematsu Y, Kamiya Y, Matsuo K, Gekko K, Kato K, Tachikawa M (2015) Isotope effect on the circular dichroism spectrum of methyl α-D-glucopyranoside in aqueous solution. Sci Rep 5:17900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Listowsky I, Englard S (1968) Characterization of the far-ultraviolet optically active absorption bands of sugars by circular dichroism. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 30:329–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Matsuo K, Gekko K (2004) Vacuum-ultraviolet circular dichroism study of saccharides by synchrotron radiation spectrophotometry. Carbohydr Res 339:591–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Matsuo K, Namatame H, Taniguchi M, Gekko K (2009) Vacuum-ultraviolet circular dichroism analysis of glycoaminoglycans by synchrotron-radiation spectroscopy. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 73:557–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Matsuo K, Namatame H, Taniguchi M, Gekko K (2012) Vacuum-ultraviolet electronic dichroism study of methyl α-D-glucopyranoside in aqueous solution by time-dependent density-functional theory. J Phys Chem A 116:9996–10003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Stevens ES (1996) Carbohydrates. In: Fasman GD (ed) Circular dichroism and the conformational analysis of biomolecules. Plenum, New York, pp 501–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Stipanovic AJ, Stevens ES (1981) Vacuum UV circular dichroism of D-glucans. In: Brant DA (ed) Solution properties of polysaccharides, American chemical society symposium series, vol 150. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp 303–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wallace BA, Janes RW (2009) Modern techniques for circular dichroism and synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy. Ios Press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Elizabeth Hounsell
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological and Chemical SciencesBirkbeck College, University of LondonLondonUK