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Biochemistry. 1976 Sep 7;15(18):3932-42.

Formation of anhydrosugars in the chemical depolymerization of heparin.


In the reactions used to break heparin down to mono- and oligosaccharides, androsugars are formed at two stages. The first of these is the well-known cleavage of heparin with nitrous acid to convert the N-sulfated D-glucosamines to anhydro-D-mannose residues; this reaction has been studied in detail. It is demonstrated here that only low pH (less than 2.5) reaction conditions favor the deamination of N-sulfated D-glucosamine residues; the reaction proceeds very slowly at pH 3.5 or above. On the other hand, N-unsubstituted amino sugars are deaminated at a maximum rate at pH 4 with markedly reduced rates at pH2 or pH6. At room temperature solutions of nitrous acid lose one-fourth to one-third of their capacity to deaminate amino sugars in 1 h at all pHs. A low pH nitrous acid reagent which will convert heparin quantitatively to its deamination products in 10 min at room temperature is described, and a comparison of the effectiveness of this reagent with other commonly used nitrous acid reagents is presented. It is also shown that conditions used for acid hydrolysis of heparin convert approximately one-fourth of the L-iduronosyluronic acid 2-sulfate residues to a 2,5-anhydrouronic acid. This product is an artifact of the reaction conditions, and its formation represents one of several pathways followed in the acid-catalyzed cleavage of the glycosidic bond of the sulfated L-idosyluronic acid residues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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