Hyaluronic Acid: A Novel, Double Helical Molecule

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Science  09 Feb 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4073, pp. 560-562
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4073.560


Films prepared from a deformable gel (or putty) of hyaluronic acid show high crystallinity and orientation in their x-ray diffraction patterns. We have derived a probable structure for the molecules in these films. This is a double helix in which two identical, left-handed strands are antiparallel to one another. Each strand has four disaccharide residues per pitch length. Although the putty is prepared at pH 2.5, at which dilute solutions of hyaluronic have exaggerated rheological properties, the double helical form can also exist at physiological pH and therefore may be a biologically important form.