Immunomodulatory activity

- Activation of splenocytes

- Activation of lymphocytes

- Activation of macrophages

Antiproliferative activity

- Induced apoptosis

- Activation of caspase-3

- Inhibitory effect on EGF-induced phosphorylation

FIGURE 12.2 Schematic showing biological properties of brown algal fucoidans.

positions of the sulfated groups along the macromolecular backbone also play a vital role in their biological activities. Among the sulfated poly-saccharides, fucoidans found in seaweeds are well known to have numerous biological activities (Fig. 12.2) and the potent biological properties of fucoidans seem to be determined by their high degree of sulfation, fine structure, and molecular weight (Jiang et al., 2010; Zvyagintseva et al., 2003). However, the composition of algal fucans varies according to several factors such as species, extraction procedure, season of harvest, and climatic conditions (Dietrich et al., 1995; Grauffel et al., 1989). Thus, each newly isolated and described fucans are unique compounds with unique structural features, consequently having the potential of being used as novel pharmaceuticals (Silva et al., 2005). Table 12.1 provides a summary of biological activities of fucose-rich sulfated polysaccharides and fucoidan isolated from various brown seaweeds.

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