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Biomacromolecules. 2010 Aug 9;11(8):2044-52. doi: 10.1021/bm100397p.

Pectic polysaccharides from Panax ginseng as the antirotavirus principals in ginseng.

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College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-742, Republic of Korea.


To evaluate the antidiarrheal effect of ginseng, the active principals of ginseng were studied in vitro model of rotavirus infection, the leading cause of severe diarrhea. Two pectic polysaccharides, named as GP50-dHR (56.0 kDa) and GP50-eHR (77.0 kDa), were purified from hot water extract of ginseng by bioassay-linked fractionation. Both polysaccharides rescued cell viability from rotavirus infection dose-dependently (IC50 are 15 and 10 microg/mL, respectively). Both polysaccharides had common structural features of homogalacturonan backbone with hairy regions of rhamnogalacturonan type I. Arabinose-rich side chains with abundant branch points were unique in GP50-eHR and may contribute to a greater antirotavirus effect of GP50-eHR than GP50-dHR. Because homogalacturonan itself did not show an antirotavirus effect, hairy regions might be functional sites. Of note, the antirotavirus effect of both polysaccharides resulted from inhibiting rotavirus attachment to cells. Together with a wide range of noncytotoxicity, these findings suggest that ginseng polysaccharides are viable therapeutic options for rotavirus diarrhea.

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