Sequencing of Plant Wall Heteroxylans Using Enzymic, Chemical (Methylation) and Physical (Mass Spectrometry, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Techniques Academic Article uri icon


  • This protocol describes the specific techniques used for the characterization of reducing end (RE) and internal region glycosyl sequence(s) of heteroxylans. De-starched wheat endosperm cell walls were isolated as an alcohol-insoluble residue (AIR)(1) and sequentially extracted with water (W-sol Fr) and 1 M KOH containing 1% NaBH4 (KOH-sol Fr) as described by Ratnayake et al. (2014)(2). Two different approaches (see summary in Figure 1) are adopted. In the first, intact W-sol AXs are treated with 2AB to tag the original RE backbone chain sugar residue and then treated with an endoxylanase to generate a mixture of 2AB-labelled RE and internal region reducing oligosaccharides, respectively. In a second approach, the KOH-sol Fr is hydrolyzed with endoxylanase to first generate a mixture of oligosaccharides which are subsequently labelled with 2AB. The enzymically released ((un)tagged) oligosaccharides from both W- and KOH-sol Frs are then methylated and the detailed structural analysis of both the native and methylated oligosaccharides is performed using a combination of MALDI-TOF-MS, RP-HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS and ESI-MS(n). Endoxylanase digested KOH-sol AXs are also characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) that also provides information on the anomeric configuration. These techniques can be applied to other classes of polysaccharides using the appropriate endo-hydrolases.

publication date

  • 2016