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Anal Biochem. 1991 Dec;199(2):249-55.

Disaccharide compositional analysis of heparin and heparan sulfate using capillary zone electrophoresis.

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Division of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) was used to separate eight commercial disaccharide standards of the structure delta UA2X(1----4)-D-GlcNY6X (where delta UA is 4-deoxy-alpha-L-threo-hex-4-enopyranosyluronic acid, GlcN is 2-deoxy-2-aminoglucopyranose, S is sulfate, Ac is acetate, X may be S, and Y is S or Ac). These eight disaccharides had been prepared from heparin, heparan sulfate, and derivatized heparins. A similar CZE method was recently reported for the analysis of eight chondroitin and dermatan sulfate disaccharides (A. Al-Hakim and R.J. Linhardt, Anal. Biochem. 195, 68-73, 1991). Two of the standard heparin/heparan sulfate disaccharides, having an identical charge of -2, delta UA2S(1----4)-D-GlcNAc and delta UA(1----4)-D-GlcNS, were not fully resolved using standard sodium borate/boric acid buffer. This buffer had proven effective in separating chondroitin/dermatan sulfate disaccharides of identical charge. Resolution of these two heparin/heparan sulfate disaccharides could be improved by extending the capillary length, preparing the buffer in 2H2O, or eliminating boric acid. Baseline resolution was achieved in sodium dodecyl sulfate in the absence of buffer. The structure and purity of each of the eight new commercial heparin/heparan sulfate disaccharide standards were confirmed using fast-atom-bombardment mass spectrometry and high-field 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Heparin and heparan sulfate were then depolymerized using heparinase (EC, heparin lyase II (EC 4.2.2.-), heparinitase (EC, and a combination of all three enzymes. CZE analysis of the products formed provided a disaccharide composition of each glycosaminoglycan. As little as 50 fmol of disaccharide could be detected by ultraviolet absorbance.

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