Role of (1,3)(1,4)-β-glucan in cell walls: interaction with cellulose

Biomacromolecules. 2014 May 12;15(5):1727-36. doi: 10.1021/bm5001247. Epub 2014 Apr 16.


(1,3)(1,4)-β-D-Glucan (mixed-linkage glucan or MLG), a characteristic hemicellulose in primary cell walls of grasses, was investigated to determine both its role in cell walls and its interaction with cellulose and other cell wall polysaccharides in vitro. Binding isotherms showed that MLG adsorption onto microcrystalline cellulose is slow, irreversible, and temperature-dependent. Measurements using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring showed that MLG adsorbed irreversibly onto amorphous regenerated cellulose, forming a thick hydrogel. Oligosaccharide profiling using endo-(1,3)(1,4)-β-glucanase indicated that there was no difference in the frequency and distribution of (1,3) and (1,4) links in bound and unbound MLG. The binding of MLG to cellulose was reduced if the cellulose samples were first treated with certain cell wall polysaccharides, such as xyloglucan and glucuronoarabinoxylan. The tethering function of MLG in cell walls was tested by applying endo-(1,3)(1,4)-β-glucanase to wall samples in a constant force extensometer. Cell wall extension was not induced, which indicates that enzyme-accessible MLG does not tether cellulose fibrils into a load-bearing network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Cell Wall / chemistry*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Glucans / chemistry*
  • Glucans / metabolism*
  • Hydrogels / chemical synthesis
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Particle Size
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance Techniques
  • Surface Properties
  • Triticum / chemistry*
  • Triticum / cytology
  • Zea mays / chemistry*
  • Zea mays / cytology


  • Glucans
  • Hydrogels
  • Cellulose