Conformational analysis of a flexible oligosaccharide using residual dipolar couplings

F. Tian, H. M. Al-Hashimi, J. L. Craighead, J. H. Prestegard

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109 Scopus citations


We present a new approach to the analysis of the conformational and the motional properties of an oligosaccharide, methyl 3,6-di-O-(α-D-mannopyranosyl)-α-D-mannopyranoside. The approach relies on an order matrix analysis of residual dipolar couplings in the solution state. By combining a number of different types of couplings, 1DCH, 2DCH, and DHH, an order matrix is solved for each ring of the trimannoside. The resulting order parameters indicate the internal motion at the α (1,3) linkage to be limited, while significant motion is suggested at the α (1,6) linkage. Two structures for the trimannoside were determined by aligning the order tensor principal axes obtained from two different orienting media, bicelles and phage. The very similar conformations at the α (1,3) linkage of these two structures confirm that the internal motion at the α (1,3) linkage is small and the conformation is a good representation of a single preferred structure. The different conformations at the α (1,6) linkage suggest that the motional amplitudes are large and the conformations must be viewed as virtual conformers. Compared with traditional NMR methods, data acquisition is easy and data analysis is straightforward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-492
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 24 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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