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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structure and properties of polysaccharides from Viscum album (L.).

Polysaccharides are possibly involved in the pharmacological effects of Viscum album (mistletoe) extracts, which are used in cancer therapy. Therefore the water-soluble polysaccharides of the fresh plant and the fermented proprietary preparation Iscador were isolated and characterized inter alia by methylation analysis, partial hydrolysis and C-13-NMR spectroscopy. The main polysaccharide of the green parts of Viscum is a highly esterified galacturonan whereas in Viscum 'berries' a complex arabinogalactan is predominant. Both types of these constituents were found in Iscador but with definite changes in molecular weight and structure. An interaction between the arabinogalactan and the galactose-specific lectin ( ML I) in Viscum could be demonstrated. In three immunological tests (granulocyte, chemiluminescence, carbon clearance test) the polysaccharides failed to increase phagocytic activity of granulocytes and macrophages.[1]


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