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Issue 22, 2013
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Fucoidans from brown seaweeds: an update on structures, extraction techniques and use of enzymes as tools for structural elucidation

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Abstract

Fucoidan or fucoidans cover a family of sulfated fucose-rich polysaccharides, built of a backbone of L-fucose units, and characteristically found in brown seaweeds. Fucoidans have potential therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant activities, as well as anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells. Recent work has revealed distinct structural features of fucoidans obtained from different brown seaweed sources. Fucoidans are classically obtained from brown seaweeds by multi-step, hot acid extraction, but the structural and compositional traits, and possibly the bioactivity, of the fucoidan polysaccharides are significantly influenced by the extraction parameters. This review discusses the structural features of fucoidans, the significance of different extraction technologies, and reviews enzymatic degradation of fucoidans and the use of fucoidan-modifying enzymes for elucidating structural details of fucoidans. Mild extraction techniques coupled with the use of new tools such as enzymes can provide the much needed knowledge about structural characteristics of different fucoidan molecules and thus pave the way for a better understanding of the structural chemistry and bioactivities of fucoidans.

Graphical abstract: Fucoidans from brown seaweeds: an update on structures, extraction techniques and use of enzymes as tools for structural elucidation

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Dec 2012, accepted on 10 Feb 2013 and first published on 11 Feb 2013


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA23373A
Citation: RSC Adv., 2013,3, 8131-8141
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Fucoidans from brown seaweeds: an update on structures, extraction techniques and use of enzymes as tools for structural elucidation

    M. T. Ale and A. S. Meyer, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 8131
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RA23373A

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