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Liver glycogen is a hyperbranched glucose polymer that is involved in the maintenance of blood sugar levels in animals. The properties of glycogen are influenced by its structure. Hence, a suitable extraction method that isolates representative samples of glycogen is crucial to the study of this macromolecule. Compared to other extraction methods, a method that employs a sucrose density gradient centrifugation step can minimize molecular damage. Based on this method, a recent publication describes how the density of the sucrose solution used during centrifugation was varied (30%, 50%, 72.5%) to find the most suitable concentration to extract glycogen particles of a wide variety of sizes, limiting the loss of smaller particles. A 10 min boiling step was introduced to test its ability to denature glycogen degrading enzymes, thus preserving glycogen. The lowest sucrose concentration (30%) and the addition of the boiling step were shown to extract the most representative samples of glycogen.


Ziyi Wang, Qinghua Liu, Liang Wang, Robert G Gilbert, Mitchell A Sullivan. The Extraction of Liver Glycogen Molecules for Glycogen Structure Determination. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2022 Feb 08(180)

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PMID: 35225266

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