Hyaluronic acid: a novel, double helical molecule

Science. 1973 Feb 9;179(4073):560-2. doi: 10.1126/science.179.4073.560.


Films prepared from a deformable gel (or putty) of hyaluronic acid show high crystallinity and orientation in their x-ray diffraction patterns. We have derived a probable structure for the molecules in these films. This is a double helix in which two identical, left-handed strands are antiparallel to one another. Each strand has four disaccharide residues per pitch length. Although the putty is prepared at pH 2.5, at which dilute solutions of hyaluronic have exaggerated rheological properties, the double helical form can also exist at physiological pH and therefore may be a biologically important form.

MeSH terms

  • Circular Dichroism
  • Disaccharides
  • Gels
  • Hyaluronic Acid / analysis*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Chemical
  • Optical Rotation
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Disaccharides
  • Gels
  • Hyaluronic Acid