Spectroscopic properties of complexes of acridine orange with glycosaminoglycans. I. Soluble complexes

Mary Cowman, W. B. Rippon, E. W. Abrahamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The interaction of acridine orange with dermatan and chondroitin sulfates results in the formation of complexes containing bound dye molecules ordered into dyssymmetric arrays. Complexes containing an excess of available disaccharide residues compared to dye are completely soluble, and exhibit biphasic circular dichroism bands. Analysis of the dependence of the extrinsic circular dichroism on dye aggregation indicates the presence of extended dye stacks bound to the glycosaminoglycan. Complexes formed in solutions containing an excess of dye are only partially soluble, and exhibit circular dichroism spectra having band shifts and intensity changes relative to the soluble complexes. The latter complexes show a sharp drop in induced circular dichroism with temperature, due to a cooperative change in the structure of the complex. The structural order of the dye glycosaminoglycan complex may differ from the intrinsic structure of the glycosaminoglycan itself in dilute solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1227
Number of pages15
JournalBiopolymers - Peptide Science Section
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1976


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics

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