Hyaluronates: Relation between Molecular Conformations

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Science  09 Feb 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4073, pp. 562-564
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4073.562


The discovery that both potassium and sodium salts of hyaluronic acid can exist in a double-strand helical conformation that will convert to the already known single-strand helical structures illustrates the remarkable conformational versatility of this biopolymer. X-ray diffraction was used to monitor variations in molecular conformation as a function of several independent, controllable variables, such as relative humidity, temperature, and applied tension. A scheme is presented for the interrelation of a range of hyaluronate conformations.