Pectin isolated from white cabbage - structure and complement-fixing activity

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This study was done to investigate whether white cabbage contained polysaccharides with immunosti-mulatory activity using the complement-fixing test as an indicator. The main polysaccharide isolated was of pectin nature. Methanolysis and 13C-NMR showed that the polymers consisted of highly esterified α-galactopyranoside (α-GalpA), significant amounts of α-arabinose furanoside (α-Araf), β-Galp and lesser amounts of rhamnose in the pyranose form (Rhap) and xylose in the pyranose form (Xylp). Linkage analyses showed that the α-GalpA residues were mainly 1,4-linked with small amounts of 1,3,4-linkages. The α-Araf residues were mainly terminally (t)- and 1,5-linked, whereas β-Galp was t-, 1,3-, 1,6-, and 1,3,6-linked. Positive Yariv reaction indicated polymers with arabinogalactan type 2 like structures. α-Rhap was mainly present as 1,2- and 1,2,4-linked residues and Xylp was t- and 1,4-linked. The molecular weight varied greatly and was from 10 to 150 kDa. Cabbage polymers had biological activity and this complement-fixing activity was greatly affected by hydrolytic removal of Araf from pectic side chains.

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