Levan is an industrially important, functional biopolymer with considerable applications in the food and pharmaceutical fields owing to its safety and biocompatibility. Here, levan-type exopolysaccharide produced by Pantoea agglomerans ZMR7 was purified by cold ethanol precipitation and characterized using TLC, FTIR, 1H, and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The maximum production of levan (28.4 g/l) was achieved when sucrose and ammonium chloride were used as carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively, at 35°C and an initial pH of 8.0. Some biomedical applications of levan like antitumor, antiparasitic, and antioxidant activities were investigated in vitro. The results revealed the ability of levan at different concentrations to decrease the viability of rhabdomyosarcoma and breast cancer cells compared with untreated cancer cells. Levan appeared also to have high antiparasitic activity against the promastigote of Leishmania tropica. Furthermore, levan had strong DPPH radical scavenging (antioxidant) activity. These findings suggest that levan produced by P. agglomerans ZMR7 can serve as a natural biopolymer candidate for the pharmaceutical and medical fields.
Keywords: Levan; antioxidant; antiparasitic; antiproliferation; characterization; exopolysaccharide.