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Indian journal of biochemistry & biophysics

Conformation of alginate and pectate chains monitored by the binding of the dye stains-all.


PMID 1711507

Abstract

The carbocyanine dye Stains-all displays spectral colour shifts or metachromasia upon binding to proteins, polysaccharides and other anionic substrates. The conformational status of the binding region of the substrate appears to govern the metachromatic features of the bound Stains-all. We have used this property to derive information about the conformational differences between the two anionic polysaccharides alginate and pectate. The stronger induction of circular dichroism in the 500 nm region of the dye by pectate is indicative of a greater extent of helical order in this polymer in solution than in the alginate or perhaps even hyaluronate chains.