Structural characterization and cytotoxic properties of a 4-O-methylglucuronoxylan from Castanea sativa

J Nat Prod. 2007 Jan;70(1):60-6. doi: 10.1021/np060354p.


A glucuronoxylan was purified from a delignified holocellulose alkaline extract of Castanea sativa (Spanish chestnut) and its structure analyzed by means of FT-IR, GC of the per-trimethylsilylated methylglycoside derivatives, and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The results supported a structure based on a linear polymer of xylopyranose units linked with beta(1-->4) bonds in which, on average, one out of every six units is substituted at C-2 by a 4-O-methylglucuronic acid unit; this structure is typical of a hardwood acidic 4-O-methylglucuronoxylan (MGX) with an estimated degree of polymerization of 200. The MGX from C. sativa inhibited the proliferation of A431 human epidermoid carcinoma cells with an IC50 value of 50 microM. In addition, this xylan inhibited A431 cell migration and invasion. Preliminary experiments showing that secretion of metalloproteinases MMP2 and MMP9 by A431 tumor cells was inhibited by the purified C. sativa MGX strongly suggest that this mechanism of action may play a role in its antimigration and anti-invasive properties.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Fagaceae / chemistry*
  • France
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Xylans / chemistry
  • Xylans / isolation & purification*
  • Xylans / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Xylans
  • 4-O-methyl glucuronoxylan