Preparation of isotope-enriched heparan sulfate precursors for structural biology studies

Victor XV, Tran VM, Kuberan B, Nguyen TK. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1229:43-8. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1714-3_6. PMID: 25325943

Heparan sulfate (HS) plays numerous important roles in biological systems through their interactions with a wide array of proteins. Structural biology studies of heparan sulfate are often challenging due to the heterogeneity and complexity of the HS molecules. Radioisotope metabolic labeling of HS in cellular systems has enabled the elucidation of HS structures as well as the interactions between HS and proteins. However, radiolabeled structures are not amenable for advanced structural glycobiology studies using sophisticated instruments such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS). The utilization of stable isotope-enriched HS precursors is an appealing approach to overcome these challenges. The application of stable isotope-enriched HS precursors has facilitated the HS structural analysis by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Herein we describe a simple method to prepare isotopically enriched HS precursors.