Production of pectic extracts from sugar beet pulp with antiproliferative activity on a breast cancer cell line

Jacqueline Concha, Caroline Weinstein, María Elvira Zúñiga

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18 Scopus citations


In the last years, sugar beet pectins have been the subject of several investigations involving extraction methodologies, chemical composition and functional properties. The structure of pectins, which depends on the extraction method, is decisive in their capacity to induce apoptosis on several cancer cell lines like colon, prostate and breast. In this work, sugar beet pectin extraction was performed in the following steps: lipid extraction with hexane, removal of soluble complex carbohydrates and proteins, and enzymatic treatment with amyloglucosidase, protease, and pectinase. The enzymatic treatment was carried out with Rohapect DA6L under the following conditions: 50°C, pH 4.0, 2% enzyme/substrate (E/S) ratio, 15 h, and a solid to liquid ratio of 1: 10. The pectic extract showed a degree of polymerization (DP) profile of 55.8% with DP ≥ 7; 4.9% with DP6; 5.8% between DP2 and DP6; 4.7% with DP2; and 28.8% with DP1. The pectic extract was examined for its antiproliferative activity on the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. At a concentration range of 12.5-25 mg/mL the pectic extract killed 80.6% of the cells, exhibiting a higher antiproliferative activity than 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT), a classical anticancer drug, which killed 56.5% of the cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-489
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • antiproliferative activity
  • breast cancer
  • enzymatic treatment
  • pectic extracts


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