Cell Biology


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9 Q&A 57674 Views Sep 20, 2014
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long unbranched polysaccharides consisting of repeating disaccharide units composed of a hexosamine (glucosamine or galactosamine) and a hexuronic acid (glucuronic or iduronic acid). Depending on the disaccharide unit the GAGs can be organized into five groups: chondroitin sulfate, dermatan sulfate, heparan sulfate, keratan sulfate and hyaluronic acid. The GAGs are heterogeneous molecules with great variability in molecular mass and both sulfation density and pattern. Spectrophotometric assays to measure the GAG content in biological fluids and tissue/cell extracts are valuable tools. The dye 1,9-dimethylmethylene is a thiazine chromotrope agent that presents a change in the absorption spectrum due to the induction of metachromasia when bound to sulfated GAGs enabling rapid detection of GAGs in solution (Whitley et al., 1989; Chandrasekhar et al., 1987; Farndale et al., 1982). Moreover, there is a window in which a linear curve may be drawn (approximately between 0.5-5 μg of GAGs) enabling the quantification of GAGs in solution.
0 Q&A 11448 Views Sep 5, 2014
The presence of intracellular glycogen can be detected by the following iodine staining technique. Cells with glycogen stain dark brown, whereas in its absence they remain with a pale yellowish color. It is hypothesized that iodine atoms fit into helical coils formed by the α-polyglucan to form a coloured glycogen-iodine complex. Here, we have studied the expression of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) genes that control the biosynthesis of this polysaccharide (Asencion Diez et al., 2013). Thus, we expressed glgC and glgD genes coding for both ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase subunits in Escherichia coli (E. coli) AC70R1-504 cells to complement the deficient accumulation of glycogen by this strain (Iglesias et al., 1993). In control cells or in those where an inactive protein was expressed, the synthesis of the polysaccharide was undetectable by this iodine staining technique.

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