Release and characterization of single side chains of white cabbage pectin and their complement-fixing activity

B. Westereng, G.J. Coenen, T.E. Michaelsen, A.G.J. Voragen, A.B. Samuelsen, H.A. Schols, S.H. Knutsen

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25 Citations (Scopus)


A mixture of single side chains from white cabbage pectin were obtained by anion exchange chromatography after applying mild chemical conditions promoting -elimination. These pectin fragments were characterized by their molecular weight distribution, sugar composition, 13C-NMR, and MALDI-TOF-MS analysis. These analyses revealed that the large oligosaccharides released by -eliminative treatment were composed of -1,5 linked arabinosyl residues with 2- and 3-linked -arabinosyl side chains, and, or -1,4 linked galactosyl side chains. Fractions were tested for complement-fixing activity in order to determine their interaction with the complement system. These results strongly indicated that there was a minimal unit size responsible for the complement-fixing activity. Neutral pectin fragments (8 kDa) obtained from -elimination were inactive in the complement system, although they contained a sugar composition previously shown to be highly active. Larger pectin fragments (17 kDa) retained some activity, but much lower than polymers containing rhamnogalacturonan type 1 (RGI) structures isolated from the same source. This implied that structural elements containing multiple side chains is necessary for efficient complement-fixing activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-789
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • plantago-major l
  • structural features
  • biological-activity
  • cell-walls
  • polysaccharides
  • arabinogalactan
  • residues
  • acid
  • xylogalacturonan
  • homogalacturonan


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