Structural diversity requires individual optimization of ethanol concentration in polysaccharide precipitation

Jun XU, Rui Qi Yue, Jing Liu, Hing Man Ho, Tao YI, Hubiao CHEN*, Simon Q B HAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ethanol precipitation is one of the most widely used methods for preparing natural polysaccharides, in which ethanol concentration significantly affects the precipitate yield, however, is usually set at 70-80%. Whether the standardization of ethanol concentration is appropriate has not been investigated. In the present study, the precipitation yields produced in varied ethanol concentrations (10-90%) were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated by HPGPC (high-performance gel-permeation chromatography), using two series of standard glucans, namely dextrans and pullulans, as reference samples, and then eight natural samples. The results indicated that the response of a polysaccharide's chemical structure, with diversity in structural features and molecular sizes, to ethanol concentration is the decisive factor in precipitation of these glucans. Polysaccharides with different structural features, even though they have similar molecular weights, exhibit significantly different precipitation behaviors. For a specific glucan, the lower its molecular size, the higher the ethanol concentration needed for complete precipitation. The precipitate yield varied from 10% to 100% in 80% ethanol as the molecular size increased from 1. kDa to 270. kDa. This paper aims to draw scientists' attention to the fact that, in extracting natural polysaccharides by ethanol precipitation, the ethanol concentration must be individually optimized for each type of material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ethanol concentration
  • Ethanol precipitation
  • Natural polysaccharides
  • Polysaccharide structures

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