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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Jan;399(2):737-45. doi: 10.1007/s00216-010-3679-7. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Analysis of E. coli K5 capsular polysaccharide heparosan.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eight Street, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


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 (M(N)), weight-averaged MWs (M(W)), and MW ranges of 3,000 to 150,000 Da.

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