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Open AccessArticle

Physicochemical Characterization and Functional Analysis of the Polysaccharide from the Edible Microalga Nostoc sphaeroides

Center for Bioresources & Drug Discovery and School of Biosciences & Biopharmaceutics, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China
Research & Development Centre, Hunan Yandi Bioengineering Co., Ltd., Zhuzhou 412000, China
School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 508;
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Polysaccharides Research)
Nostoc colonies have been used as food and medicine for centuries, and their main supporting matrix is polysaccharides, which help Nostoc cells resist various environmental stresses including oxidative stress. Here we isolated a polysaccharide, nostoglycan, from cultured Nostoc sphaeroides colonies and determined its physicochemical properties, which revealed a characteristic infrared absorption spectrum typical of polysaccharides and an amorphous morphology with rough surfaces. We also show that nostoglycan has strong moisture absorption and retention capacities and a high relative viscosity. Using Caenorhabditis elegans models, we then demonstrate that nostoglycan is capable of improving overall survival rate of the animals under increased oxidative stress caused by paraquat. Nostoglycan also reduces reactive oxygen species level, inhibits protein carbonyl formation and lipid peroxidation, and increases activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase in paraquat-exposed nematodes. As oxidative stress may drive tumor progression, we further demonstrate that nostoglycan can suppress the proliferation of several types of tumor cells and induce apoptosis of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells via caspase-3 activation. Together, our results yield important information on the physicochemical characteristics and demonstrate the antioxidant and anti-proliferative functions of nostoglycan, and thus provide an insight into its potential in food and health industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nostoc sphaeroides; polysaccharide; Caenorhabditis elegans; oxidative stress; apoptosis Nostoc sphaeroides; polysaccharide; Caenorhabditis elegans; oxidative stress; apoptosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, H.; Su, L.; Chen, S.; Zhao, L.; Wang, H.; Ding, F.; Chen, H.; Shi, R.; Wang, Y.; Huang, Z. Physicochemical Characterization and Functional Analysis of the Polysaccharide from the Edible Microalga Nostoc sphaeroides. Molecules 2018, 23, 508.

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