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First isolation and structural determination of cyclic β-(1→2)-glucans from an alga, Chlorella pyrenoidosa

journal contribution
posted on 2008-10-13, 00:00 authored by E Suarez, S Bugden, F Kai, J Kralovec, M Noseda, Colin BarrowColin Barrow, T Grindley
The aqueous extract of the edible green microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa is of interest because of its immunostimulatory activity. Some components in the extract have been identified previously, namely a unique type of arabinogalactan and a galactofuran. Further fractionation of this extract was accomplished by treating the aqueous solution of the fraction precipitated by addition of 1.5vol of 95% ethanol with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. The residue obtained by concentration of the supernatant was fractionated further by anion-exchange chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography on Sephadex G-100. Two fractions from the latter column were retained, of which one was a starch-like alpha-(1-->4)-linked d-glucan with some alpha-(1-->6) branches, and the other contained a starch plus a mixture of beta-(1-->2)-d-glucans. ESI mass spectrometry was used to show that the mixture contained both cyclic and linear beta-(1-->2)-d-glucans in a cyclic:linear ratio of 64:36, based on intensities of mass spectral peaks. For the cyclic beta-(1-->2)-d-glucans, ring sizes ranged from 18 to 35 monosaccharides with the ring containing 21 glucose units (54% of the cyclic glucans) being greater than three times more abundant than the next most abundant component, the ring containing 22 glucose units (15%). No rings containing 20 glucose units were present. This is the first observation of cyclic beta-(1-->2)-d-glucans in algae, as far as we are aware. For the linear beta-(1-->2)-d-glucans, the component containing 20 glucoses was most abundant (35% of the linear glucans), while the component containing 21 glucose units was the next most abundant (17%). These relatively low-molecular-weight glucans had low immunostimulatory activity.



Carbohydrate research






2623 - 2633


Elsevier Scientific


Amsterdam, Netherlands







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Elsevier