Enzymlc methods of carbohydrate analysis

There are a large number of enzymes that are capable of modifying carbohydrates or carbohydrate derivatives, and that may be used in various analytical methods. The hydrolytic enzymes, which break glycosidic linkages, are useful in the study of disaccharide or polysaccharide structure and in methods for quantitation (Table 9.2). Such enzymes will hydrolyse the glycosidic linkages between the monosaccharide residues and release the individual components for further analysis. The enzyme is chosen bearing in mind the nature of the glycosidic linkage involved, which may not be unique to one particular disaccharide or polysaccharide. Thus a-glucosidase will hydrolyse both the a(l—»4) linkage of maltose and the a( 1—»2) linkage of sucrose, resulting in the release of glucose in both cases.

Table 9.2 Examples of glycosidases

Hydrolysing enzyme


Trivial name

Hydrolysis products

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