The isolation, preliminary structural studies, and physiological activity of water-soluble polysaccharides from the squeezed berries of the snowball treeViburnum opulus
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Water-soluble polysaccharide fractions VO1–VO4 were isolated from the squeezed berries of the snowball tree (Viburnum opulus) by successive extraction with water at various temperatures and pH and with aqueous solutions of ammonium oxalate. These fractions were purified by ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE cellulose, and the homogeneity of the purified polysaccharides was determined by gel filtration on Sephacryl S-500. Acidic polysaccharides close to pectins in their sugar composition were found in all the extracts (fractions VO1-1, VO2-1, VO3-2, and VO4-2). Residues of galacturonic acid, galactose, arabinose, and (to a lesser extent) rhamnose are their main constituents. Neutral polysaccharides composed mainly of galactose and mannose residues were additionally found in fractions extracted with acidified water (pH 4.0) and with aqueous ammonium oxalate solutions. Partial acidic hydrolysis and digestion with pectinase of acidic polysaccharides indicated that their carbohydrate backbone consists of α-1,4-linked residues ofD-galacturonic acid. NMR spectra of acidic polysaccharides (fractions VO3-2 and VO3-3) confirmed this and demonstrated that their side oligosaccharide chains are composed of β-1,4-linked galactopyranose residues and of terminal and 2,5- and 3,5-substituted residues of α-arabinofuranose at a Gal : Ara ratio of 3 : 1. Some polysaccharides fromV. opulus were found to possess an immunostimulating activity: they enhance phagocytosis, in particular, the phagocytic index and the secretion of lysosomal enzymes with peritoneal macrophages. Calcium ions were found to be necessary for the appearance of the stimulating effect of acidic polysaccharides fromV. opulus.
Key wordsplant polysaccharides Viburnum opulus mucilages of seeds pectins arabinogalactans NMR spectroscopy of polysaccharides immunomodulators
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