Immunomodulatory Activity Improvement of Pine Nut Peptides by a Pulsed Electric Field and Their Structure-Activity Relationships

J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Apr 3;67(13):3796-3810. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b00760. Epub 2019 Mar 22.


In this study, Alg-Gly-Ala-Val-Leu-His (RGAVLH) obtained from pine nut ( Pinus koraiensis Sieb. et Zucc.) protein was chosen to investigate the phenomenon of immunomodulatory activity improvement upon pulsed electric field (PEF) processing. The influence of electric field intensity on immunomodulatory activity of RGAVLH was evaluated using RAW 264.7 cells. It was found that RGAVLH can not only significantly ( p < 0.05) improve the capability of macrophage phagocytosis but also promote the production of nitric oxide. RGAVLH treated under an electric field intensity of 40 kV/cm exhibited the best immunomodulatory activity. The primary and secondary structures of PEF-treated peptides were analyzed by mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and one-dimensional/two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. After PEF treatment, the primary structure of RGAVLH was not influenced, as evaluated by MIR and Raman spectra. In addition, the content of β-sheet was decreased and active hydrogen was changed in PEF-treated RGAVLH solution. Moreover, the long-range connectivity between CαH (3.39 ppm) and NαH (8.24 ppm) was enhanced by PEF. Therefore, the improvement of the immunomodulatory activity of RGAVLH might result from the changes of the spatial state and spatial force in the peptide solution system.

Keywords: macrophage activation; nitric oxide; pine nut peptides; pulsed electric field; secondary structure.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electricity
  • Immunologic Factors / chemistry*
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Nuts / chemistry
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Pinus / chemistry*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • RAW 264.7 Cells


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Peptides