Pectin Interaction with Immune Receptors is Modulated by Ripening Process in Papayas

Samira B.R. Prado, Martin Beukema, Eva Jermendi, Henk A. Schols, Paul de Vos, João Paulo Fabi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Dietary fibers have been shown to exert immune effects via interaction with pattern recognition receptors (PRR) such as toll-like receptors (TLR) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors. Pectin is a dietary fiber that interacts with PRR depending on its chemical structure. Papaya pectin retains different chemical structures at different ripening stages. How this influence PRR signaling is unknown. The aim of this work was to determine how ripening influences pectin structures and their ability to interact with TLR2, 3, 4, 5 and 9, and NOD1 and 2. It was evaluated the interaction of the water-soluble fractions rich in pectin extracted from unripe to ripe papayas. The pectin extracted from ripe papayas activated all the TLR and, to a lesser extent, the NOD receptors. The pectin extracted from unripe papayas also activated TLR2, 4 and 5 but inhibited the activation of TLR3 and 9. The differences in pectin structures are the higher methyl esterification and smaller galacturonan chains of pectin from ripe papayas. Our finding might lead to selection of ripening stages for tailored modulation of PRR to support or attenuate immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1690
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020


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