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Anal Biochem. 2002 Jan 1;300(1):53-68.

Polysaccharide analysis using carbohydrate gel electrophoresis: a method to study plant cell wall polysaccharides and polysaccharide hydrolases.

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Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge University, Building O, Downing Site, Cambridge, CB2 1QW, United Kingdom.


A method to characterize plant cell wall polysaccharides is presented. The complexity of the polymer structures and the large number of different charged and uncharged monosaccharides that make up plant polysaccharides have previously made analysis technically demanding and laborious. Polysaccharide analysis using carbohydrate gel electrophoresis (PACE) relies on derivatization of reducing ends of sugars and oligosaccharides with a fluorophore, followed by electrophoresis under optimized conditions in polyacrylamide gels. We show that PACE is a sensitive and simple tool for studying the monosaccharide composition of polysaccharides and of cell wall preparations. In combination with specific hydrolases, it can be used to analyze the structure of polysaccharides. Moreover, the specificity and kinetics of the plant polysaccharide hydrolases themselves can be quickly and effectively studied. PACE can detect as little as 500 fmol of monosaccharides and 100 fmol of oligosaccharides, and it is fast and quantitative.

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