Chemical characterization, antioxidant, immune-regulating and anticancer activities of a novel bioactive polysaccharide from Chenopodium quinoa seeds

Int J Biol Macromol. 2017 Jun;99:622-629. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.03.019. Epub 2017 Mar 6.


Chenopodium quinoa, a promising nutraceutical cereal, has attracted increasing research interest, yet its polysaccharides remains to get few systematic studies. In this study, we employed orthogonal experimental design to optimize the ultrasound-assisted extraction process for highest yield of C. quinoa polysaccharides. A novel C. quinoa polysaccharide (CQP) fraction with high content and low molecular weight (8852Da) was subsequently purified by column chromatography, constituted by galacturonic acid and glucose monosaccharides. The purified CQP exhibited significantly antioxidant effect against DPPH+ and ABTS+, with even higher efficiency than some other reported polysaccharides. Moreover, CQP could promote the RAW264.7 macrophage proliferation, while suppress the nitri oxide production on inflammatory RAW264.7 macrophage in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In view of the pathological correlation of free radical, inflammation and carcinogenesis, the anticancer effect of CQP was further investigated on human liver cancer SMMC 7721 and breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Interestingly, CQP displayed cytotoxicity against cancer cells, while none proliferation inhibition on normal cells. These results suggest that the bioactive polysaccharide from C. quinoa provided the promising potential as a natural antioxidant, immune-regulating and anticancer candidate for food and even drug application.

Keywords: Biological macromolecule; Chenopodium quinoa seed; Polysaccharides.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Chenopodium quinoa / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation / drug effects*
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Mice
  • Monosaccharides / analysis
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Monosaccharides
  • Polysaccharides