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Open AccessArticle

Structural Analysis and Anticoagulant Activities of the Novel Sulfated Fucan Possessing a Regular Well-Defined Repeating Unit from Sea Cucumber

by 1, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1, 1, 1, 3,* and 1,*
State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
School of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100000, China
Pharmacy Department, Yunnan University of TCM, Kunming 650200, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paola Laurienzo
Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(4), 2063-2084;
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Polysaccharides)
Sulfated fucans, the complex polysaccharides, exhibit various biological activities. Herein, we purified two fucans from the sea cucumbers Holothuria edulis and Ludwigothurea grisea. Their structures were verified by means of HPGPC, FT-IR, GC–MS and NMR. As a result, a novel structural motif for this type of polymers is reported. The fucans have a unique structure composed of a central core of regular (1→2) and (1→3)-linked tetrasaccharide repeating units. Approximately 50% of the units from L. grisea (100% for H. edulis fucan) contain sides of oligosaccharides formed by nonsulfated fucose units linked to the O-4 position of the central core. Anticoagulant activity assays indicate that the sea cucumber fucans strongly inhibit human blood clotting through the intrinsic pathways of the coagulation cascade. Moreover, the mechanism of anticoagulant action of the fucans is selective inhibition of thrombin activity by heparin cofactor II. The distinctive tetrasaccharide repeating units contribute to the anticoagulant action. Additionally, unlike the fucans from marine alga, although the sea cucumber fucans have great molecular weights and affluent sulfates, they do not induce platelet aggregation. Overall, our results may be helpful in understanding the structure-function relationships of the well-defined polysaccharides from invertebrate as new types of safer anticoagulants. View Full-Text
Keywords: polysaccharide; sulfated fucan; chemical structure; anticoagulant polysaccharide; sulfated fucan; chemical structure; anticoagulant
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Wu, M.; Xu, L.; Zhao, L.; Xiao, C.; Gao, N.; Luo, L.; Yang, L.; Li, Z.; Chen, L.; Zhao, J. Structural Analysis and Anticoagulant Activities of the Novel Sulfated Fucan Possessing a Regular Well-Defined Repeating Unit from Sea Cucumber. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 2063-2084.

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