Natural Polysaccharides and Their Biological Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 July 2024 | Viewed by 5175

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Development Center of Science and Technology (MARA), Beijing 100125, China
2. Institute of Edible Fungi, Shanghai Academy of Agriculture Sciences, Shanghai 201403, China
3. National Engineering Research Center of Edible Fungi, Shanghai 201403, China
4. Key Laboratory of Edible Fungi Resources and Utilization (South), Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai 201403, China
Interests: novel extraction strategies of polysaccharides; structure elucidation of bioactive metabolites; biological activities; polysaccharide biosynthesis and regulatory mechanisms
School of Food and Biological Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 210031, China
Interests: ultrasound; physics; polysaccharide
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Natural polysaccharides (NPs) are a type of natural macromolecular polymer. NPs have been shown to have diverse biological activities depending on their structure or source; these include immunomodulation, antitumor and antioxidant effects, the regulation of lipid metabolism, and intestinal protection. Recognizing the importance of NPs from natural resources and the diverse biological activities of NPs, this Special Issue of Polymers invites contributions that address several aspects of NPs, such as explorations of the physicochemical and structural characteristics of NPs using novel extraction strategies, studies of the biological activities of NPs, research on the mechanism of action of NPs in vitro and in vivo experiments, correlation studies on NP structural improvements and their biological activity, etc. The above list is only indicative and by no means exhaustive; any new and original research articles or review articles on the biological properties of NPs derived from natural sources are welcome. We hope that these contributions will provide references and rationale for the application of NPs in medicine, foods, and cosmetics.

Dr. Henan Zhang
Dr. Lei Zhang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • polysaccharide
  • extraction methods
  • structural characteristics of NPs
  • biological activity
  • mechanisms of action
  • biological applications

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 1530 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Pectin from Extracted Dragon Fruit Waste by Different Techniques
by Huimin Du, Ibukunoluwa Fola Olawuyi, Nurul Saadah Said and Won-Young Lee
Polymers 2024, 16(8), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16081097 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 997
Abstract
Dragon fruit peel, often discarded, is a valuable source of commercial pectin. This study investigates different extraction methods, including cold-water (CW), hot-water (HW), ultrasound (US), and novel enzyme extraction (xylanase: EZX), to extract pectins from dragon fruit peel and compare their characteristics. The [...] Read more.
Dragon fruit peel, often discarded, is a valuable source of commercial pectin. This study investigates different extraction methods, including cold-water (CW), hot-water (HW), ultrasound (US), and novel enzyme extraction (xylanase: EZX), to extract pectins from dragon fruit peel and compare their characteristics. The pectin yield ranged from 10.93% to 20.22%, with significant variations in physicochemical properties across methods (p < 0.05). FTIR analysis revealed that extraction methods did not alter the primary structural configuration of the pectins. However, molecular weights (Mws) varied significantly, from 0.84 to 1.21 × 103 kDa, and the degree of esterification varied from 46.82% to 51.79% (p < 0.05). Monosaccharide analysis identified both homogalacturonan (HG) and rhamnogalacturonan-I (RG-I) pectic configurations in all pectins, predominantly comprising galacturonic acid (77.21–83.12 %mol) and rhamnose (8.11–9.51 %mol), alongside minor side-chain sugars. These properties significantly influenced pectin functionalities. In the aqueous state, a higher Mw impacted viscosity and emulsification performance, while a lower Mw enhanced antioxidant activities and promoted the prebiotic function of pectin (Lactis brevies growth). This study highlights the impact of extraction methods on dragon fruit peel pectin functionalities and their structure–function relationship, providing valuable insights into predicting dragon fruit peel’s potential as a food-grade ingredient in various products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polysaccharides and Their Biological Applications)
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13 pages, 4974 KiB  
Article
Structural Elucidation of a Polysaccharide from Flammulina velutipes and Its Lipid-Lowering and Immunomodulation Activities
by Wei Jia, Wenhan Wang, Dongsheng Yu, Yangchao Yu, Zhan Feng, Hewen Li, Jingsong Zhang and Henan Zhang
Polymers 2024, 16(5), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16050598 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1214
Abstract
FVPT1, a novel heteropolysaccharide, was purified from the fruiting body of Flammulina velutipes using magnetic-field-assisted three-phase partitioning and gel permeation chromatography. The structure was characterized using monosaccharide composition and methylation analysis, infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The FVPT1 (~1.64 × 10 [...] Read more.
FVPT1, a novel heteropolysaccharide, was purified from the fruiting body of Flammulina velutipes using magnetic-field-assisted three-phase partitioning and gel permeation chromatography. The structure was characterized using monosaccharide composition and methylation analysis, infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The FVPT1 (~1.64 × 104 Da) was composed of L-fucose, D-galactose, D-glucose and D-mannose at a molar ratio of 1.0:3.5:1.0:1.4. The polysaccharide repeating unit of FVPT1 was established with methylation analyses and NMR spectroscopy. Moreover, a zebrafish larva hyperlipidemia model test demonstrated that FVPT1 can show appreciable lipid-lowering effects. In addition, the FVPT1 exhibited remarkable immunoregulatory activity by increasing nitric oxide, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-1 secretion in macrophages. Therefore, these results suggest that FVPT1 has the potential to be developed into a new immune or hypolipidemic health product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polysaccharides and Their Biological Applications)
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13 pages, 3226 KiB  
Article
Polysaccharides Produced by Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Strain Burkholderia sp. BK01 Enhance Salt Stress Tolerance to Arabidopsis thaliana
by Enni Chen, Changsheng Yang, Weiyi Tao and Shuang Li
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010145 - 3 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1161
Abstract
Salt stress is one of the most serious abiotic stresses leading to reduced agricultural productivity. Polysaccharides from seaweed have been used as biostimulants to promote crop growth and improve plant resistance to abiotic stress. In this study, PGPR strain Burkholderia sp. BK01 was [...] Read more.
Salt stress is one of the most serious abiotic stresses leading to reduced agricultural productivity. Polysaccharides from seaweed have been used as biostimulants to promote crop growth and improve plant resistance to abiotic stress. In this study, PGPR strain Burkholderia sp. BK01 was isolated from the rhizosphere of wheat, and it was characterized for phosphorus (Pi) dissolution, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, ammonia (NH3) and exopolysaccharides (EPS). In particular, strain BK01 can efficiently produce extracellular polysaccharide with a yield of 12.86 g/L, using sorbitol as carbon source. BK01 EPS was identified as an heteropolysaccharide with Mw 3.559 × 106 Da, composed of (D)-galactose (75.3%), (D)-glucose (5.5%), (L)-rhamnose (5.5%), (D)-galactouronic acid (4.9%) and (D)-glucuronic acid (8.8%). The present work aims to highlight the effect of the BK01 EPS on growth and biochemical changes in Arabidopsis thaliana under salt stress (100 mM). The purified BK01 EPS at a concentration of 100 mg/L efficiently promoted the growth of plants in pot assays, improved the chlorophyll content, enhanced the activities of SOD, POD and CAT, and decreased the content of MDA. This results suggested that the polysaccharides produced by PGPR strain Burkholderia sp. BK01 can be used as biostimulants to promote plant growth and improve plant resistance to salt stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polysaccharides and Their Biological Applications)
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21 pages, 4555 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant Activities and Prebiotic Activities of Water-Soluble, Alkali-Soluble Polysaccharides Extracted from the Fruiting Bodies of the Fungus Hericium erinaceus
by Haining Zhuang, Huayue Dong, Xiaowei Zhang and Tao Feng
Polymers 2023, 15(20), 4165; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15204165 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
In this study, the digestion and fermentation properties of the bioactive water-soluble polysaccharide (HEP-W), and alkali-soluble polysaccharide (HEP-A) from Hericium erinaceus and the impact on the human colonic microbiota were determined using simulated saliva–gastrointestinal digestion and human fecal fermentation models in vitro. The [...] Read more.
In this study, the digestion and fermentation properties of the bioactive water-soluble polysaccharide (HEP-W), and alkali-soluble polysaccharide (HEP-A) from Hericium erinaceus and the impact on the human colonic microbiota were determined using simulated saliva–gastrointestinal digestion and human fecal fermentation models in vitro. The basic physicochemical properties of HEP-W and HEP-A were determined at the same time. The results showed that the in vitro simulated digestion had almost no effect on the physicochemical properties of HEP-W and HEP-A, indicating that HEP-W and HEP-A were partially degraded. During fermentation, HEP-W and HEP-A increased the relative abundance of the dominant butyric acid-producing genera, the microbial community structure was significantly regulated, the gas production and short-chain fatty acid production in the fermentation broth were significantly increased, and the pH of the fermentation broth was reduced. There were structural and other differences in HEP-W and HEP-A due to different extraction methods, which resulted in different results. These results suggest that HEP-W and HEP-A may be potential gut microbial manipulators to promote gut health by promoting the production of beneficial metabolites by intestinal microorganisms using different butyric acid production pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polysaccharides and Their Biological Applications)
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