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Carbohydr Res. 2001 Sep 28;335(2):115-26.

The effect of peptide-pectin interactions on the gelation behaviour of a plant cell wall pectin.

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Division of Food Materials Science, Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UA, UK.


The effect of basic peptides on the gelation of a pectin from the cell wall of tomato was examined through the determination of gel stiffness, and swelling behaviour of the gel in water. Poly-L-lysine, poly-L-arginine, and a synthetic peptide, designed to mimic a sequence of basic amino acids found in a plant cell wall extensin, act as crosslinking agents. Circular dichroism studies on the interaction of synthetic extensin peptides with sodium polygalacturonate demonstrated that a conformational change was induced as a result of their complexation. In addition to their effect as crosslinking agents, the polycationic peptides reduced the swelling of the pectin network in water.

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