The Application of Capillary Affinity Electrophoresis to the Analysis of Carbohydrate-Protein Interactions

  • Reinhard Kuhn
Part of the BioMethods book series (BIOMETHODS)


Molecular recognition is a fundamental occurrence of many biological phenomena and the basis for numerous processes in cell-cell interactions such as immune defense, embryogenesis, cell migration and microbial infection. Today it is generally accepted that carbohydrates bound to proteins or lipids and complementary receptors are involved in these processes. The understanding of cell-cell interactions on the molecular level has a great impact on inventions in many fields of biology and medicine. In this respect, the determination of complex formation constants represents a crucial problem. This holds especially if techniques are needed for systematically investigating drug candidates for their potential as enzyme or receptor inhibitors. This chapter describes the use of capillary affinity electrophoresis (CAE) for the measurement of association constants. Although CAE is still a new technique for investigating molecular recognition mechanisms, the first results show that it has tremendous potential for this purpose. In the text that follows, the general terms receptor and ligand are used to emphasize that CAE can in principle be used for studying any kind of molecular association, including the complex formation between proteins and carbohydrates.


Electrophoretic Mobility Benzyl Alcohol Migration Time Association Constant Complex Formation Constant 
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© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1997

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  • Reinhard Kuhn

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