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Phytomedicine. 1999 Oct;6(4):273-9.

Rhamnopyranosylgalactofuranan, a new immunologically active polysaccharide from Thamnolia subuliformis.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.


A complex polysaccharide, Ths-3, consisting mainly of rhamnopyranosyl and galactofuranosyl units, has been isolated from the water extract of the lichen Thamnolia subuliformis using ethanol fractionation, dialysis, ion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration and preparative GP-HPLC. The mean M(r) of Ths-3 was determined to be 1450 kD, and the monosaccharide composition is gal/rha/glc/xyl/man in the ratio of 40:31:13:10:6. The structure of Ths-3 was further elucidated by methylation analysis by GC-MS and NMR spectroscopy and found to be basically composed of (1-->3)-linked beta-D-galactofuranosyl units with branches on C6, and rhamnosyl units being predominantly (1-->2)-linked with branches on C3 and C4, while some units are (1-->3)-linked. Glucose, mannose and galactofuranose are found as terminal units and glucose and mannose are also (1-->4)-linked, while xylose is only present as terminal units. The trisaccharide xylglcglc was detected after partial hydrolysis of the polysaccharide. The immunomodulating activity of Ths-3 was tested in an in vitro phagocytosis assay and the classical anticomplementary assay, and proved to be active in both tests. The authors suggest the trivial name thamnolan for Ths-3.

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