Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is a fleshy fruit with a rapid pulp softening during ripening. Ripening events are accompanied by gradual depolymerization of pectic polysaccharides, including homogalacturonans, rhamnogalacturonans, arabinogalactans, and their modified forms. During intermediate phases of papaya ripening, partial depolymerization of pectin to small size with decreased branching had enhanced pectin anti-cancer properties. These properties were lost with continued decomposition at later phases of ripening. Pectin extracted from intermediate phases of papaya ripening markedly decreased cell viability, induced necroptosis, and delayed culture wound closing in three types of immortalized cancer cell lines. The possible explanation for these observations is that papaya pectins extracted from the third day after harvesting have disrupted interaction between cancer cells and the extracellular matrix proteins, enhancing cell detachment and promoting apoptosis/necroptosis. The anticancer activity of papaya pectin is dependent on the presence and the branch of arabinogalactan type II (AGII) structure. These are first reports of AGII in papaya pulp and the first reports of an in vitro biological activity of papaya pectins that were modified by natural action of ripening-induced pectinolytic enzymes. Identification of the specific pectin branching structures presents a biological route to enhancing anti-cancer properties in papaya and other climacteric fruits.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 29, 2017
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