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Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071710

Correlations of Molecular Weights of β-Glucans from Qingke (Tibetan Hulless Barley) to Their Multiple Bioactivities

1
Institute of Food Processing and Safety, College of Food Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya’an 625014, China
2
Tibetan Gan-Yu-Cang Agricultural Products Development Co., Ltd., Changdu 855700, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Polysaccharides Research)
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Abstract

β-glucans have been considered the major bioactive components in Qingke (Tibetan hulless barley). However, the structure–function relationships of β-glucans from Qingke have seldom been investigated. Whether the bioactivities of Qingke β-glucans are closely correlated to their molecular weights remains unknown. Therefore, in order to explore Qingke β-glucans as functional/healthy food ingredients for industrial applications, and to better understand their structure–function relationships, correlations of molecular weights of Qingke β-glucans to their in vitro binding properties, inhibitory activities on digestive enzymes (α-amylase and pancreatic lipase), anti-inflammatory activities, and anticancer activities were systematically investigated. Results showed that the in vitro binding properties and the inhibitory activities on α-amylase and pancreatic lipase of Qingke β-glucans were positively correlated to their molecular weights. However, the anti-inflammatory activities of Qingke β-glucans increased as their molecular weights decreased. Furthermore, Qingke β-glucans exhibited selectively anti-cancer activities in vitro. Positive and negative correlations of molecular weights to inhibitory effects against A549 cells and MDA-MB-231 cells were observed, respectively. However, the inhibitory effects of Qingke β-glucans against HCT116 cells were not associated with their molecular weights. Results suggested that the molecular weights of Qingke β-glucans significantly affected their bioactivities, which was beneficial for a better understanding of their structure–function relationships. Moreover, results showed that Qingke β-glucans could be further explored as functional/healthy food ingredients for industrial applications due to their multiple health benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: Qingke; β-glucans; molecular weight; binding properties; inhibitory activities on digestive enzymes; anti-inflammatory activity; anti-cancer activity Qingke; β-glucans; molecular weight; binding properties; inhibitory activities on digestive enzymes; anti-inflammatory activity; anti-cancer activity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Lin, S.; Guo, H.; Lu, M.; Lu, M.-Y.; Gong, J.D.B.; Wang, L.; Zhang, Q.; Qin, W.; Wu, D.-T. Correlations of Molecular Weights of β-Glucans from Qingke (Tibetan Hulless Barley) to Their Multiple Bioactivities. Molecules 2018, 23, 1710.

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