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J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Apr;47(4):1530-2.

Autolysis of lentinan, an antitumor polysaccharide, during storage of Lentinus edodes, shiitake mushroom.

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Division of Science of Biological Resources, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, Japan.


The lentinan contents in the Lentinus edodes fruit body during storage were examined by ELISA method using anti-lentinan antibodies. The lentinan content (12.8 mg.g(-)(1) dw) before storage decreased to 3.7 mg.g(-)(1) dw over 7 days at 20 degrees C. However, it only slightly decreased at 1 degrees C and only decreased to 9.3 mg. g(-)(1) dw at 5 degrees C. Glucanase activity, which seems to be associated with lentinan degradation, increased more during storage of L. edodes at 20 degrees C than it did at lower temperatures. In addition, only glucose was detected as a degraded product from lentinan by the glucanase. This suggested that this enzyme would fit the profile of an exo-type glucanase. Also, polyphenol oxidase activity, known as an index of freshness reduction in the mushroom, increased approximately 2.7-fold (to 61.5 over 7 days during storage at 20 degrees C. However, its activity changed little during storage at lower temperatures. These results indicate that the reduction during storage of the quality of L. edodes as a functional food is accompanied by the decrease of lentinan, and by browning, and that exo-glucanase plays an important role in the decrease of lentinan content.

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