Letter | Published:

A Sulphated Mucopolysaccharide in Human Dentine

Nature volume 166, page 187 (29 July 1950) | Download Citation



THE presence of a polysaccharide resembling chondroitin sulphate in human dentine has already been described1. An undegraded polysaccharide with a low ash content has now been separated from human dentine. Dry human dentine (1 gm.) is reduced to a 180/200 mesh powder, then dialysed in 1 litre of 0.05 N hydrochloric acid for about ten days with frequent changes, at room temperature; this reduces the calcium content. When the outer fluid shows only a trace of calcium, pH of the suspension is brought to 6.0 and it is then heated to 80° for 20 min., as suggested by Partridge for cartilage2. The mass is then shaken with 10 per cent calcium chloride3 and again dialysed against distilled water. The bulk is then made up to about two litres with distilled water, and pH adjusted again to 6.0. Separation of protein is effected by shaking with 80 ml. chloroform and 32 ml. amyl alcohol to each litre. The bulk is then reduced by boiling at about 42° under reduced pressure; drying is completed over phosphorus pentoxide. The yield from 1 gm. dry dentine was 26.4 mgm. polysaccharide.

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  1. 1.

    , Nature, 162, 1014 (1948).

  2. 2.

    , Biochem. J., 43, 387 (1948).

  3. 3.

    , and , J. Biol. Chem., 119, 507 (1937).

  4. 4.

    , , and , Helv. Chim. Acta, 31, 1400 (1948).

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  1. Department of Physiology, Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London, W.1. March 30.

    • P. PINCUS


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