Deciphering GAGs: a new way of sequencing polysaccharides

19 January 2023
In this publication involving Bernard Priem, Lecturer at the University of Grenoble Alpes, the authors propose an effective and robust approach based on passage through protein nanopores, to decipher the structure of complex bioactive polysaccharides, GAGs. Click on the title for more information.


“Glycosaminoglycans are highly anionic functional polysaccharides with information content in their structure that plays a major role in the communication between the cell and the extracellular environment. The study presented here reports the label-free detection and analysis of glycosaminoglycan molecules at the single molecule level using sensing by biological nanopore, thus addressing the need to decipher structural information in oligo- and polysaccharide sequences, which remains a major challenge for glycoscience. We demonstrate that a wild-type aerolysin nanopore can detect and characterize glycosaminoglycan oligosaccharides with various sulfate patterns, osidic bonds and epimers of uronic acid residues. Size discrimination of tetra- to icosasaccharides from heparin, chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate was investigated and we show that different contents and distributions of sulfate groups can be detected. Remarkably, differences in α/β anomerization and 1,4/1,3 osidic linkages can also be detected in heparosan and hyaluronic acid, as well as the subtle difference between the glucuronic/iduronic epimers in chondroitin and dermatan sulfate. Although, at this stage, discrimination of each of the constituent units of GAGs is not yet achieved at the single-molecule level, the resolution reached in this study is an essential step toward this ultimate goal.”

The article is available over here and highlighted on the CNRS website.