Characterization of cell wall polysaccharides from the medicinal plant Panax notoginseng Academic Article uri icon


  • Panax notoginseng is a commonly used medicinal plant in south-western China. Recent studies indicate that wall polysaccharides are responsible for some of the immunostimulatory activity. Fractionation of the P. notoginseng root powder alcohol insoluble residue (AIR) and its compositional analysis enabled us to deduce the polysaccharide and protein composition of the root cell walls. P. notoginseng walls are composed primarily of polysaccharide (approximately 97% w/w) and some protein. The polysaccharides include pectic polysaccharides (neutral Type I 4-galactan (21%), arabinan (5%), acidic rhamnogalacturonan I (RG I, 2%) and homogalacturonan (HGA, 24%), non-cellulosic polysaccharides (heteroxylan, 3%), xyloglucan (XG, 3%) and heteromannan (1%)) and cellulose (24%). The root AIR also contains Type II AG/AGPs (5% w/w) typically associated with the plasma membrane and extracellular matrix. Thus, P. notoginseng roots contain polysaccharides typical of Type I primary cell walls but are distinguished by their very high levels of Type I 4-galactans and low levels of XGs. The major amino acids in the AIR were Leu (14 mol%), Asx (16 mol%), Glx (10 mol%), Ala (9 mol%), Thr (9 mol%) and Val (9 mol%).

publication date

  • May 2005