Purification, Preliminary Characterization and Hepatoprotective Effects of Polysaccharides from Dandelion Root

Molecules. 2017 Aug 25;22(9):1409. doi: 10.3390/molecules22091409.


In this study, purification, preliminary characterization and hepatoprotective effects of water-soluble polysaccharides from dandelion root (DRP) were investigated. Two polysaccharides, DRP1 and DRP2, were isolated from DRP. The two polysaccharides were α-type polysaccharides and didn't contain protein. DRP1, with a molecular weight of 5695 Da, was composed of glucose, galactose and arabinose, whereas DRP2, with molecular weight of 8882 Da, was composed of rhamnose, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose and arabinose. The backbone of DRP1 was mainly composed of (1→6)-linked-α-d-Glc and (1→3,4)-linked-α-d-Glc. DRP2 was mainly composed of (1→)-linked-α-d-Ara and (1→)-linked-α-d-Glc. A proof-of-concept study was performed to assess the therapeutic potential of DRP1 and DRP2 in a mouse model that mimics acetaminophen (APAP) -induced liver injury (AILI) in humans. The present study shows DRP1 and DRP2 could protect the liver from APAP-induced hepatic injury by activating the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway. These conclusions demonstrate that the DRP1 and DRP2 might be suitable as functional foods and natural drugs in preventing APAP-induced liver injury.

Keywords: Nrf2-Keap1; dandelion root; hepatoprotective effects; polysaccharides; purification.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen
  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Hexuronic Acids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Monosaccharides / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Roots / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Taraxacum / chemistry*


  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Monosaccharides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Acetaminophen
  • galacturonic acid