Determination of the concentrations of oligosaccharides, complex type carbohydrates, and glycoproteins using the phenol-sulfuric acid method

Anat K. Saha, Curtis F. Brewer

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The concentrations of methyl glycosides, oligosaccharides, glycopeptides, and glycoproteins can be accurately determined by using calibration curves composed of the appropriate monosaccharide(s) obtained with a modified version of the colorimetric phenol-sulfuric acid method. Calibration curves of μg sugar vs. 490 nm for Man, Glc, or Gal are shown to provide reliable determinations (typically ±3-4%) of corresponding methyl glycosides and linear and branched-chain oligosaccharides containing the corresponding reactive hexose residue. For complex oligosaccharides containing a known mixture of reactive hexose units, the appropriate mixture of monosaccharides are shown to provide equally accurate calbration curves for concentration determinations. In the case of the soybean agglutinin, which is a tetramer possessing one Man9 oligomannose-type chain per subunit, the proein concentration was determined from the Man calibration curve which agreed with that obtained from the molar extinction coefficient of the protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalCarbohydrate Research
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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