The heparin-Ca(2+) interaction: the influence of the O-sulfation pattern on binding

Franck Chevalier, Ricardo Lucas, Jesús Angulo, Manuel Martin-Lomas, Pedro M Nieto

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The specific binding of Ca(2+) to synthetic hexasaccharide models of modified heparin has been investigated by NMR and molecular modeling and compared with previous results on a model of regular heparin. These two models represent the regular region of heparin lacking one type of O-sulfate group, either at C-6 of glucosamine or at C-2 of iduronate. The NMR experiments show different responses to the presence of Ca(2+). In the case of the compound lacking O-sulfate groups at C-2, the results are indicative of specific binding similar to that observed for the regular heparin, while the model lacking sulfate groups in position 6 interacts more weakly with Ca(2+). In order to understand the basis of this difference, a molecular modeling study based on a rigid body docking approach of the interaction of these carbohydrates with Ca(2+) and Na(+) was performed. We have found that the results are strongly dependent on the starting orientation of the lateral side chains of the charged groups of the carbohydrate, and that the best agreement with the experimental results is obtained when the starting conformations are taken from previous simulations in the presence of Ca(2+).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-983
Number of pages9
JournalCarbohydrate Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2004


  • Sulfates
  • Computer Simulation
  • Calcium
  • Thermodynamics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Heparin
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

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