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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(1), 266-277; doi:10.3390/ijms12010266
Article

Effects of the Molecular Weight and the Degree of Deacetylation of Chitosan Oligosaccharides on Antitumor Activity

,
,
 and
*
Department of Biotechnology, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do 420-743, Korea These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 3 January 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2011 / Published: 6 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins)
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Abstract

Effects of the degree of deacetylation (DDA) and the molecular mass of chitosan oligosaccharides (CTS-OS), obtained from the enzymatic hydrolysis of high molecular weight chitosan (HMWC), on antitumor activity was explored. The DDA and molecular weights of CTS-OS were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis. The CTS-OS were found to be a mixture of mainly dimers (18.8%), trimers (24.8%), tetramers (24.9%), pentamers (17.7%), hexamers (7.1%), heptamers (3.3%), and octamers (3.4%). The CTS-OS were further fractionated by gel-filtration chromatography into two major fractions: (1) COS, consisting of glucosamine (GlcN)n, n = 3–5 with DDA 100%; and (2) HOS, consisting of (GlcN)5 as the minimum residues and varying number of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)n, n = 1–2 with DDA about 87.5% in random order. The cytotoxicities, expressed as the concentration needed for 50% cell death (CC50), of CTS-OS, COS, and HOS against PC3 (prostate cancer cell), A549 (lung cancer cell), and HepG2 (hepatoma cell), were determined to be 25 mg∙mL-1, 25 mg∙mL-1, and 50 mg∙mL-1, respectively. The HMWC was approximately 50% less effective than both CTS-OS and COS. These results demonstrate that the molecular weight and DDA of chitosan oligosaccharides are important factors for suppressing cancer cell growth.
Keywords: chitosan oligosaccharides; antitumor activity; MALDI-TOF MS; molecular weight; degree of deacetylation chitosan oligosaccharides; antitumor activity; MALDI-TOF MS; molecular weight; degree of deacetylation
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.

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Park, J.K.; Chung, M.J.; Choi, H.N.; Park, Y.I. Effects of the Molecular Weight and the Degree of Deacetylation of Chitosan Oligosaccharides on Antitumor Activity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 266-277.

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