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Carbohydr Res. 1996 Sep 2;290(2):183-97.

Structural characterization of red wine rhamnogalacturonan II.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Laboratoire des Polymères et des Techniques Physico-Chimiques, Montpellier, France.


The pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan II (RG-II), which accounts for approximately 20% of the ethanol-precipitable polysaccharides in red wine, has been isolated from wine polysaccharides by anion-exchange chromatography. Four fractions enriched with RG-II were obtained and the RG-II then purified to homogeneity by Concanavalin A affinity and size-exclusion chromatographies. The glycosyl-residue compositions of the four RG-IIs are similar; all the RG-IIs contain the monosaccharides (apiose, 2-O-methyl-L-fucose, 2-O-methyl-D-xylose, Kdo, Dha, and aceric acid) that are diagnostic of RG-II. The glycosyl-linkages of the neutral and acidic sugars, including aceric acid, were determined simultaneously by GC-EIMS analysis of the methylated alditol acetates generated from per-O-methylated and carboxyl-reduced RG-II. Two of the RG-IIs contain boron, most likely as a borate di-ester that cross-links two molecules of RG-II together to form a dimer. The dimer contains 3'- and 2,3,3'-linked apiosyl residues whereas the monomer contains only 3'-linked apiosyl residues which suggests that the borate di-ester is located on at least one of the apiosyl residues of RG-II. Although the wine RG-IIs all have similar structures they are not identical since they differ in the length and degree of methyl-esterification of the RG-II backbone and in the presence or absence of borate di-esters. Nevertheless, these studies show that the major structural features of wine and primary cell wall RG-II are conserved.

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