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Carbohydr Res. 2001 Oct 8;335(3):181-94.

Three-dimensional structure of the sodium salt of iota-carrageenan.

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  • 1Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Food Science Building, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1160, USA.


The three-dimensional structure of the sodium salt of iota-carrageenan has been determined by using X-ray diffraction data collected from its polycrystalline and oriented fibers. The molecule forms a half-staggered, parallel, threefold, right-handed double helix that is stabilized by interchain hydrogen bonds from 2- and 6-hydroxyl groups in the galactosyl units. Three helices are organized in a trigonal unit cell, of dimensions a=24.02 and c=12.93 A, with a lateral separation of 13.9 A for each pair. Both 2- and 4-sulfate groups are essential in helix-helix interactions that are mediated only by sodium ions and water molecules.

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