Molecular weight distribution analysis by ultracentrifugation: Adaptation of a new approach for mucins

Richard B. Gillis, Gary G. Adams, Bettina Wolf, Monica Berry, Tabot M.D. Besong, Anthony Corfield, Samil M. Kök, Ray Sidebottom, David Lafond, Arthur J. Rowe, Stephen E. Harding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Mucins are the key macromolecular component of mucus, nature's natural lubricant, and one of the most important physical properties is their molecular weight distribution. A new approach for polydisperse polymers was recently published based on sedimentation velocity in the analytical ultracentrifuge and converts a distribution of sedimentation coefficient g(s) vs. s plot into a distribution of molecular weight utilising the power-law or scaling relationship between the sedimentation coefficient and molecular weight, s= κsMwb where s is the sedimentation coefficient, Mw is the weight average molecular weight and κs and b are characteristic coefficients related to conformation. We investigate the possibility of using a large database of previously published values of s an M to define κs and b for both aqueous solution and aqueous solution supplemented by 6 M guanidine hydrochloride (a solvent which helps to minimise sample degradation). These values are then applied to a study of the molecular weight distributions of preparations of human gastric mucin in the different solvents and at different stages of purification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Column and membrane free
  • Extended Fujita approach
  • Mucins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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