Structural analysis and potential immunostimulatory activity of Nannochloropsis oculata polysaccharides


The relevance of microalgae biotechnology for producing high-value compounds with biomedical application, such as polysaccharides, has been increasing. Despite this, the knowledge about the composition and structure of microalgae polysaccharides is still scarce. In this work, water-soluble polysaccharides from Nannochloropsis oculata were extracted, fractionated, structurally analysed, and subsequently tested in terms of immunostimulatory activity. A combination of sugar and methylation analysis with interaction data of carbohydrate-binding proteins using carbohydrate microarrays disclosed the complex structural features of the different polysaccharides. These analyses showed that the water-soluble polysaccharides fractions from N. oculata were rich in (beta 1 -> 3, beta 1 -> 4)-glucans, (alpha 1 -> 3)-, (alpha 1 -> 4)-mannans, and anionic sulphated heterorhamnans. The immunostimulatory assay highlighted that these fractions could also stimulate murine B-lymphocytes. Thus, the N. oculata water-soluble polysaccharides show potential to be further explored for immune-mediated biomedical applications.



subject category

Chemistry; Polymer Science


Pandeirada, CO; Maricato, E; Ferreira, SS; Correia, VG; Pinheiro, BA; Evtuguin, DV; Palma, AS; Correia, A; Vilanova, M; Coimbra, MA; Nunes, C

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (FCT UID/CTM/50011/2019), QOPNA (FCT UID/QUI/00062/2019), and Applied Molecular Biosciences UnitUCIBIO (UID/Multi/04378/2019), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when applicable co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. CN, EM, SSF, VC, ASP, and AC thank FCT for the individual grants (SFRH/BPD/100627/2014, SFRH/BD/87245/2012SFRH/BD/103003/2014, PD/BD/105727/2014, IF/00033/2012, and SFRH/BPD/91623/2012, respectively). We are grateful to Ten Feizi and Lisete Silva from the Glycosciences Laboratory (Imperial College London, UK) for their support and assistance on robotic microarray printing. BAP was supported by a post-doctoral grant within the FCT funded project PTDC/BBB-BEP/0869/2014. This work was also funded by national funds (OE), through FCT, I.P., within the scope of the framework contract foreseen in the numbers 4, 5 and 6 of the article 23, of the Decree-Law 57/2016, of August 29, changed by Law 57/2017, of July 19. AC was supported by FCT through Stimulus of Scientific Employment - Individual Support 2017 (CEECIND/01514/2017).

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