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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Structure-Functional Activity Relationship of beta-Glucans From the Perspective of Immunomodulation: A Mini-Review

Han, Biao; Baruah, Kartik; Cox, Eric; Vanrompay, Daisy; Bossier, Peter


beta-Glucans are a heterogeneous group of glucose polymers with a common structure comprising a main chain of beta-(1,3) and/or beta-(1,4)-glucopyranosyl units, along with side chains with various branches and lengths. beta-Glucans initiate immune responses via immune cells, which become activated by the binding of the polymer to specific receptors. However, beta-glucans from different sources also differ in their structure, conformation, physical properties, binding affinity to receptors, and thus biological functions. The mechanisms behind this are not fully understood. This mini-review provides a comprehensive and up-to-date commentary on the relationship between beta-glucans' structure and function in relation to their use for immunomodulation.


beta-glucans; structure-function relationship; immunomodulation; molecular structure; molecular weight; solubility

Published in

Frontiers in Immunology
2020, volume: 11, article number: 658

Authors' information

Han, Biao
Univ Ghent
Ghent University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Cox, Eric
Univ Ghent
Vanrompay, Daisy
Univ Ghent
Bossier, Peter
Univ Ghent

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