Carbohydrate research vol:306 issue:4 pages:479-91
The dynamics of size-selected fractions of glycogen in solution have been investigated by proton NMR spectroscopy, using a recently described relaxation study method which relies on strong offresonance irradiation. The dependence of the steady-state magnetisation on angle and intensity of the effective radio-frequency field was measured and compared to theoretical curves derived from different models of motion. Absence or presence of contributions to relaxation from molecular motions on the microsecond time scale can be tested with this method, without having to resort to models. We found that glycogen dipolar relaxation did not result from isotropic Brownian rotation, and despite some contribution from slow motion (> 1 microsecond) to relaxation in glycogen alpha-particles extracted from rat liver, bulk movement of the molecules did not appear to participate in averaging the dipolar term to zero. Whereas hepatic glycogen rat beta-particles and commercial oyster glycogen displayed very similar relaxation properties, alpha-particles showed significantly different behaviour. However, all results were compatible with a diversity of movements within the molecule, ranging from freely rotating pyranoside rings through collective chain motion and possibly to bulk movement of the beta sub-units within the alpha-particle.