beta glucans


Summary: Glucose polymers consisting of a backbone of beta(1->3)-linked beta-D-glucopyranosyl units with beta(1->6) linked side chains of various lengths. They are a major component of the CELL WALL of organisms and of soluble DIETARY FIBER.

Top Publications

  1. Cushion M, Collins M, Linke M. Biofilm formation by Pneumocystis spp. Eukaryot Cell. 2009;8:197-206 pubmed publisher
    ..Identification of this biofilm process provides a tractable in vitro system that should fundamentally advance the study of Pneumocystis...
  2. Lamaris G, Lewis R, Chamilos G, May G, Safdar A, Walsh T, et al. Caspofungin-mediated beta-glucan unmasking and enhancement of human polymorphonuclear neutrophil activity against Aspergillus and non-Aspergillus hyphae. J Infect Dis. 2008;198:186-92 pubmed publisher
    ..The results of the present study suggest inducement of beta-glucan unmasking by echinocandins and enhancement of PMN activity against mold hyphae, thereby supporting the immunopharmacologic mode of action of echinocandins. ..
  3. Hernanz Falcón P, Joffre O, Williams D, Reis E Sousa C. Internalization of Dectin-1 terminates induction of inflammatory responses. Eur J Immunol. 2009;39:507-13 pubmed publisher
  4. Shimizu C, Kihara M, Aoe S, Araki S, Ito K, Hayashi K, et al. Effect of high beta-glucan barley on serum cholesterol concentrations and visceral fat area in Japanese men--a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2008;63:21-5 pubmed
    ..039), BMI (P = 0.015), and waist circumference (P = 0.011) at the end point. The consumption of pearl barley with a high beta-glucan content reduces not only LDL-C but also visceral fat area. ..
  5. Fry S, Nesselrode B, Miller J, Mewburn B. Mixed-linkage (1-->3,1-->4)-beta-D-glucan is a major hemicellulose of Equisetum (horsetail) cell walls. New Phytol. 2008;179:104-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Equisetum MLG is firmly wall-bound, and may tether neighbouring microfibrils. It is also suggested that MLG acts as a template for silica deposition, characteristic of grasses and horsetails...
  6. Ferwerda G, Meyer Wentrup F, Kullberg B, Netea M, Adema G. Dectin-1 synergizes with TLR2 and TLR4 for cytokine production in human primary monocytes and macrophages. Cell Microbiol. 2008;10:2058-66 pubmed publisher
    ..Conclusively, dectin-1 synergizes with both TLR2 and TLR4 pathways for the production of TNF-alpha in human primary PBMCs and in monocyte-derived macrophages. ..
  7. Volman J, Ramakers J, Plat J. Dietary modulation of immune function by beta-glucans. Physiol Behav. 2008;94:276-84 pubmed publisher
    ..Although more human studies are needed, it is tempting to suggest that dietary beta-glucans may be a useful tool to prime the host immune system and increase resistance against invading pathogens. ..
  8. Alminger M, Eklund Jonsson C. Whole-grain cereal products based on a high-fibre barley or oat genotype lower post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy humans. Eur J Nutr. 2008;47:294-300 pubmed publisher
    ..The results suggest that cereal products with beneficial influence on postprandial plasma glucose and insulin responses can be tailored by fermentation and enclosure of high-amylose and/or high-beta-glucan barley and oat kernels. ..
  9. Fortwendel J, Juvvadi P, Pinchai N, Perfect B, Alspaugh J, Perfect J, et al. Differential effects of inhibiting chitin and 1,3-{beta}-D-glucan synthesis in ras and calcineurin mutants of Aspergillus fumigatus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009;53:476-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Additionally, the calcineurin pathway elements cnaA and crzA play a major role in proper chitin and glucan incorporation into the A. fumigatus cell wall. ..

More Information


  1. Wheeler R, Kombe D, Agarwala S, Fink G. Dynamic, morphotype-specific Candida albicans beta-glucan exposure during infection and drug treatment. PLoS Pathog. 2008;4:e1000227 pubmed publisher
    ..These results highlight the advantage of studying host-pathogen interaction in vivo and suggest new avenues for drug development. ..
  2. Doblin M, Pettolino F, Wilson S, Campbell R, Burton R, Fincher G, et al. A barley cellulose synthase-like CSLH gene mediates (1,3;1,4)-beta-D-glucan synthesis in transgenic Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:5996-6001 pubmed publisher
  3. Xu S, Huo J, Lee K, Kurosaki T, Lam K. Phospholipase Cgamma2 is critical for Dectin-1-mediated Ca2+ flux and cytokine production in dendritic cells. J Biol Chem. 2009;284:7038-46 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, our data indicate that pattern recognition receptors such as Dectin-1 could elicit Ca2+ signaling and that PLCgamma2 is a critical player in the Dectin-1 signal transduction pathway. ..
  4. Berdal M, Appelbom H, Eikrem J, Lund A, Zykova S, Busund L, et al. Aminated beta-1,3-D-glucan improves wound healing in diabetic db/db mice. Wound Repair Regen. 2007;15:825-32 pubmed
    ..9% (p=0.7). The results of these two groups were superior to group 3 (insulin treatment alone, 32.0 +/- 4.3%, p<0.001) and diabetic controls (38.2 +/- 5.1%, p=0.001). The macrophage-stimulant AG improves wound healing in db/db mice. ..
  5. Hughes S, Shewry P, Gibson G, McCleary B, Rastall R. In vitro fermentation of oat and barley derived beta-glucans by human faecal microbiota. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2008;64:482-93 pubmed publisher
    ..This fraction was supplemented to small-scale faecal batch cultures and gave significant increases in the Lactobacillus-Enterococcus group; however, the prebiotic potential of this fraction was marginal compared with that of inulin. ..
  6. Hohl T, Feldmesser M, Perlin D, Pamer E. Caspofungin modulates inflammatory responses to Aspergillus fumigatus through stage-specific effects on fungal beta-glucan exposure. J Infect Dis. 2008;198:176-85 pubmed publisher
    ..Our experiments demonstrate that echinocandin-induced morphological changes in A. fumigatus hyphae are accompanied by increased beta-glucan exposure, with consequent increases in Dectin-1-mediated inflammatory responses by macrophages. ..
  7. Sadiq Butt M, Tahir Nadeem M, Khan M, Shabir R, Butt M. Oat: unique among the cereals. Eur J Nutr. 2008;47:68-79 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, it is helpful against coeliac disease. The incorporation of oat grains and oat bran in the food products improves not only the nutrition but also a therapy against various maladies. ..
  8. Akramiene D, Kondrotas A, Didziapetriene J, Kevelaitis E. Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system. Medicina (Kaunas). 2007;43:597-606 pubmed
    ..This mechanism could be induced in the presence of beta-glucans. ..
  9. Sun L, Zhao Y. The biological role of dectin-1 in immune response. Int Rev Immunol. 2007;26:349-64 pubmed
    ..In addition, dectin-1 is involved in the adaptive immune response as well as autoimmune diseases and immune tolerance. In this paper, we will mainly focus on the characteristics of dectin-1 and its biological role in immune response. ..
  10. Rosas M, Liddiard K, Kimberg M, Faro Trindade I, McDonald J, Williams D, et al. The induction of inflammation by dectin-1 in vivo is dependent on myeloid cell programming and the progression of phagocytosis. J Immunol. 2008;181:3549-57 pubmed
    ..This has implications for the mechanism by which myeloid cells are activated during fungal infections and the processes involved in the therapeutic manipulation of the immune system via exogenous dectin-1 stimulation or blockade. ..
  11. Trinidad A, de la Puerta M, Fernández N, Bayon Y, Crespo M, Alonso A. Coupling of C3bi to IgG inhibits the tyrosine phosphorylation signaling cascade downstream Syk and reduces cytokine induction in monocytes. J Leukoc Biol. 2006;79:1073-82 pubmed
    ..Taken together, these findings indicate that C3bi targets the phagocytic cargo, and engagement or diversion of the Syk route determines the phagocyte response. ..
  12. Li B, Allendorf D, Hansen R, Marroquin J, Ding C, Cramer D, et al. Yeast beta-glucan amplifies phagocyte killing of iC3b-opsonized tumor cells via complement receptor 3-Syk-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway. J Immunol. 2006;177:1661-9 pubmed
    ..These results are important inasmuch as beta-glucan, an agent without evident toxicity, may be used to amplify tumor cell killing and may open new opportunities in the immunotherapy of cancer. ..
  13. Inoue K, Takano H, Oda T, Yanagisawa R, Tamura H, Ohno N, et al. Candida soluble cell wall beta-D-glucan induces lung inflammation in mice. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2007;20:499-508 pubmed
  14. Vetvicka V, Dvorak B, Vetvickova J, Richter J, Krizan J, Sima P, et al. Orally administered marine (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan Phycarine stimulates both humoral and cellular immunity. Int J Biol Macromol. 2007;40:291-8 pubmed
    ..The majority of Phycarine can be detected throughout the gastrointestinal tract, supporting the feasibility of enteral administration of Phycarine in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. ..
  15. Ellegard L, Andersson H. Oat bran rapidly increases bile acid excretion and bile acid synthesis: an ileostomy study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:938-45 pubmed
    ..Thus, 7alpha-HC could be used for rapid detection of dietary effects on bile acid metabolism. These effects could possibly be explained by entrapment of whole micelles in the gut owing to higher viscosity. ..
  16. Philippe S, Saulnier L, Guillon F. Arabinoxylan and (1-->3),(1-->4)-beta-glucan deposition in cell walls during wheat endosperm development. Planta. 2006;224:449-61 pubmed
    ..As soon as the differentiation was apparent, the cell walls exhibited a strong heterogeneity in the distribution of polysaccharides within the endosperm. ..
  17. Tasaka S, Hasegawa N, Kobayashi S, Yamada W, Nishimura T, Takeuchi T, et al. Serum indicators for the diagnosis of pneumocystis pneumonia. Chest. 2007;131:1173-80 pubmed
    ..The diagnosis of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is difficult because it requires microscopic examination to identify pneumocystis from induced sputum or BAL fluid...
  18. Nisini R, Torosantucci A, Romagnoli G, Chiani P, Donati S, Gagliardi M, et al. beta-Glucan of Candida albicans cell wall causes the subversion of human monocyte differentiation into dendritic cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2007;82:1136-42 pubmed
    ..In particular, our data suggest that beta-glucan could bias noninfected, bystander monocytes, thus aggravating the general immunodeficiency, predisposing to systemic fungal infection. ..
  19. Lehne G, Haneberg B, Gaustad P, Johansen P, Preus H, Abrahamsen T. Oral administration of a new soluble branched beta-1,3-D-glucan is well tolerated and can lead to increased salivary concentrations of immunoglobulin A in healthy volunteers. Clin Exp Immunol. 2006;143:65-9 pubmed
    ..SBG was thus safe and well tolerated by healthy volunteers, when given orally once daily for 4 consecutive days at doses up to 400 mg. ..
  20. Nilsson U, Johansson M, Nilsson A, Björck I, Nyman M. Dietary supplementation with beta-glucan enriched oat bran increases faecal concentration of carboxylic acids in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008;62:978-84 pubmed
    ..The concentration of all main acids increased, except for lactic acid, which decreased. Oat bran may therefore have a preventive potential adjunct to colonic diseases. ..
  21. Reyna Villasmil N, Bermúdez Pírela V, Mengual Moreno E, Arias N, Cano Ponce C, Leal Gonzalez E, et al. Oat-derived beta-glucan significantly improves HDLC and diminishes LDLC and non-HDL cholesterol in overweight individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia. Am J Ther. 2007;14:203-12 pubmed
    ..The diet with added beta-glucan was well accepted and tolerated. ..
  22. Theuwissen E, Mensink R. Simultaneous intake of beta-glucan and plant stanol esters affects lipid metabolism in slightly hypercholesterolemic subjects. J Nutr. 2007;137:583-8 pubmed
    ..beta-Glucan muesli effectively lowered serum LDL cholesterol concentrations. The addition of plant stanol esters to beta-glucan-enriched muesli further lowered serum LDL cholesterol, although effects were slightly less than predicted. ..
  23. Sato T, Iwabuchi K, Nagaoka I, Adachi Y, Ohno N, Tamura H, et al. Induction of human neutrophil chemotaxis by Candida albicans-derived beta-1,6-long glycoside side-chain-branched beta-glucan. J Leukoc Biol. 2006;80:204-11 pubmed
  24. Carmona E, Vassallo R, Vuk Pavlovic Z, Standing J, Kottom T, Limper A. Pneumocystis cell wall beta-glucans induce dendritic cell costimulatory molecule expression and inflammatory activation through a Fas-Fas ligand mechanism. J Immunol. 2006;177:459-67 pubmed
    ..This suggests that dysregulation of FasL could further enhance exuberant and prolonged cytokine production by DCs following DC-T cell interactions, further promoting lung inflammation typical of Pneumocystis pneumonia...
  25. Maki K, Galant R, Samuel P, Tesser J, Witchger M, Ribaya Mercado J, et al. Effects of consuming foods containing oat beta-glucan on blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism and biomarkers of oxidative stress in men and women with elevated blood pressure. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:786-95 pubmed
    ..The results of the present trial suggest beneficial effects of foods containing beta-glucan from oats on carbohydrate metabolism, and on blood pressure in obese subjects. ..
  26. Taylor P, Tsoni S, Willment J, Dennehy K, Rosas M, Findon H, et al. Dectin-1 is required for beta-glucan recognition and control of fungal infection. Nat Immunol. 2007;8:31-8 pubmed
  27. Lavigne L, Albina J, Reichner J. Beta-glucan is a fungal determinant for adhesion-dependent human neutrophil functions. J Immunol. 2006;177:8667-75 pubmed
    ..Taken together, results show that beta-glucan in C. albicans hyphae is accessible to PMNs and sufficient to support an innate immune response. ..
  28. Nett J, Lincoln L, Marchillo K, Massey R, Holoyda K, Hoff B, et al. Putative role of beta-1,3 glucans in Candida albicans biofilm resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007;51:510-20 pubmed
  29. Li J, Li D, Xing J, Cheng Z, Lai C. Effects of beta-glucan extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae on growth performance, and immunological and somatotropic responses of pigs challenged with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide. J Anim Sci. 2006;84:2374-81 pubmed
    ..The beta-glucan treatments had no effect on growth hormone. In conclusion, beta-glucan can selectively influence performance and partially offer benefits on somatotropic axis and immune function in weaned piglets challenged with LPS. ..
  30. Upton A, Leisenring W, Marr K. (1-->3) beta -D-glucan assay in the diagnosis of invasive fungal infections. Clin Infect Dis. 2006;42:1054-6; author reply 1056 pubmed
  31. Palma A, Feizi T, Zhang Y, Stoll M, Lawson A, Diaz Rodriguez E, et al. Ligands for the beta-glucan receptor, Dectin-1, assigned using "designer" microarrays of oligosaccharide probes (neoglycolipids) generated from glucan polysaccharides. J Biol Chem. 2006;281:5771-9 pubmed
  32. Chen J, Seviour R. Medicinal importance of fungal beta-(1-->3), (1-->6)-glucans. Mycol Res. 2007;111:635-52 pubmed
    ..Careful choice of beta-glucan products is essential if their benefits are to be optimized, and a better understanding of how beta-glucans bind to receptors should enable more efficient use of their biological activities. ..
  33. Rachini A, Pietrella D, Lupo P, Torosantucci A, Chiani P, Bromuro C, et al. An anti-beta-glucan monoclonal antibody inhibits growth and capsule formation of Cryptococcus neoformans in vitro and exerts therapeutic, anticryptococcal activity in vivo. Infect Immun. 2007;75:5085-94 pubmed
    ..Overall, these findings demonstrate that cell wall beta-glucan of encapsulated C. neoformans is accessible to antibodies which can exert remarkable anticryptococcal activities in vitro and in vivo. ..
  34. Naumann E, van Rees A, Onning G, Oste R, Wydra M, Mensink R. Beta-glucan incorporated into a fruit drink effectively lowers serum LDL-cholesterol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83:601-5 pubmed
    ..A reduced cholesterol absorption contributes to the cholesterol-lowering effect of beta-glucan without affecting plasma concentrations of lipid-soluble antioxidants. ..
  35. Dong S, Chen J, Zhang W, Sun S, Wang J, Gu J, et al. Specific immune response to HBsAg is enhanced by beta-glucan oligosaccharide containing an alpha-(1-->3)-linked bond and biased towards M2/Th2. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007;7:725-33 pubmed
  36. Wilson S, Burton R, Doblin M, Stone B, Newbigin E, Fincher G, et al. Temporal and spatial appearance of wall polysaccharides during cellularization of barley (Hordeum vulgare) endosperm. Planta. 2006;224:655-67 pubmed
    ..In contrast, (1-->3,1-->4)-beta-D: -glucan was not detected in the cytoplasm in endosperm cells; similar results were obtained for coleoptile and suspension cultured cells. ..
  37. Burton R, Wilson S, Hrmova M, Harvey A, Shirley N, Medhurst A, et al. Cellulose synthase-like CslF genes mediate the synthesis of cell wall (1,3;1,4)-beta-D-glucans. Science. 2006;311:1940-2 pubmed
  38. Olsson S, Sundler R. The macrophage beta-glucan receptor mediates arachidonate release induced by zymosan: essential role for Src family kinases. Mol Immunol. 2007;44:1509-15 pubmed
    ..Suggestive evidence for a role of the scaffold adaptor Gab2 is also presented. ..
  39. Wheeler R, Fink G. A drug-sensitive genetic network masks fungi from the immune system. PLoS Pathog. 2006;2:e35 pubmed
    ..Targeting the widely conserved gene network required for creating and maintaining this barrier may lead to novel broad-spectrum antimycotics. ..
  40. Kedzierska A, Kochan P, Pietrzyk A, Kedzierska J. Current status of fungal cell wall components in the immunodiagnostics of invasive fungal infections in humans: galactomannan, mannan and (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan antigens. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007;26:755-66 pubmed
    ..Based on current literature, factors increasing the probability of obtaining false-positive or false-negative results detected by each test were also analysed and tabulated. ..
  41. LeBlanc B, Albina J, Reichner J. The effect of PGG-beta-glucan on neutrophil chemotaxis in vivo. J Leukoc Biol. 2006;79:667-75 pubmed
  42. Jang W, Kim H, Lee K, Kim S, Han Y, Lee I. Antifungal activity of synthetic peptide derived from halocidin, antimicrobial peptide from the tunicate, Halocynthia aurantium. FEBS Lett. 2006;580:1490-6 pubmed
    ..albicans cells. This membrane-attacking quality of di-K19Hc was also visualized via confocal laser and scanning electron microscopy. ..
  43. Ozment Skelton T, Goldman M, Gordon S, Brown G, Williams D. Prolonged reduction of leukocyte membrane-associated Dectin-1 levels following beta-glucan administration. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006;318:540-6 pubmed
    ..These data may have important implications for developing dosing regimens for immunomodulatory carbohydrates. ..
  44. Ishihara S, Hirata A, Nogami S, Beauvais A, Latge J, Ohya Y. Homologous subunits of 1,3-beta-glucan synthase are important for spore wall assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Eukaryot Cell. 2007;6:143-56 pubmed
    ..Based on these results, we propose that FKS2 encodes the primary 1,3-beta-glucan synthase in sporulation and that FKS3 is required for normal spore wall formation because it affects the upstream regulation of 1,3-beta-glucan synthase. ..
  45. Wang J, Gigliotti F, Bhagwat S, Maggirwar S, Wright T. Pneumocystis stimulates MCP-1 production by alveolar epithelial cells through a JNK-dependent mechanism. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007;292:L1495-505 pubmed
    ..carinii-stimulated AECs. These data demonstrate that AECs respond to P. carinii in a proinflammatory manner that may contribute to the generation of immune-mediated lung injury. ..
  46. Babícek K, Cechova I, Simon R, Harwood M, Cox D. Toxicological assessment of a particulate yeast (1,3/1,6)-beta-D-glucan in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45:1719-30 pubmed
    ..3, or 100mg/kg body weight/day of WGP 3-6 in Fisher-344 rats, and therefore, a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 100 mg/kg body weight/day, the highest dose tested, was determined. ..
  47. Fujita S. [Serologic diagnosis of fungal infections]. Nihon Rinsho. 2008;66:2313-8 pubmed
    ..These variations are mainly related to the patient population examined, the test conditions and the frequency of the serologic survey. A large number of cases should be evaluated to clarify the characteristics of the assay kits. ..
  48. Apiraksakorn J, Nitisinprasert S, Levin R. Grass degrading beta-1,3-1,4-D-glucanases from Bacillus subtilis GN156: purification and characterization of glucanase J1 and pJ2 possessing extremely acidic pI. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2008;149:53-66 pubmed publisher
    ..The pJ2 showed low activity yielding a degradation pattern in descending order: pentose, triose, tetraose and a HMW polysaccharide. ..
  49. Revolledo L, Ferreira C, Ferreira A. Prevention of Salmonella Typhimurium colonization and organ invasion by combination treatment in broiler chicks. Poult Sci. 2009;88:734-43 pubmed publisher
    ..The results in the first and third week indicate that combination treatments involving CE product, probiotic, and beta-glucan are a more effective control of Salmonella colonization than the corresponding individual preparations. ..
  50. Vasiljevic T, Kealy T, Mishra V. Effects of beta-glucan addition to a probiotic containing yogurt. J Food Sci. 2007;72:C405-11 pubmed
    ..Above critical concentrations, the mixtures underwent phase separation with the lower phase rich in protein. The phase diagram also showed that the addition of beta-glucan may be possible at or below 0.24 w/w%. ..
  51. Yao M, Zhu T, Li K, Dong S, Wu Y, Qiu X, et al. Onsite infectious agents and toxins monitoring in 12 May Sichuan earthquake affected areas. J Environ Monit. 2009;11:1993-2001 pubmed publisher
    ..The total bacterial concentrations were found to range from 250 to 2.5 x 10(5) DNA copies/L. Aspergillus fumigatus (Asp f 1) and dust mite allergens (Der p 1 and Der f 1) were also found below their detection limits. ..
  52. Isogai T, Saito T, Isogai A. TEMPO electromediated oxidation of some polysaccharides including regenerated cellulose fiber. Biomacromolecules. 2010;11:1593-9 pubmed publisher
  53. Gurgui M, Cuenca Estrella M. [Current status of invasive fungal infections. New diagnostic techniques and antifungal agents]. Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2008;26 Suppl 14:1-6 pubmed
    ..The present chapter provides a brief review of the epidemiology of these infections, diagnostic advances, and the new antifungal agents that have been developed in the last few years. ..