2005 Volume 51 Issue 6 Pages 475-477
Intake of sulfated polysaccharides, such as fucoidan or λ-carrageenan extracted from seaweeds, has been shown to enhance immune responses, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which these sulfated compounds mediate the enhancement. In the present study, we examined the effect of sulfated polysaccharides from seaweeds on esterase activity of a lymphocyte tryptase, granzyme A (GzmA), which is believed to induce the production of cytokines in a variety of cells. Inclusion of fucoidan (from Fucus vesiculosus) or λ-carrageenan (from Gigartina aciculaire and Gigartina) in the reaction mixture increased the hydrolysis of Nα-benzyloxy-L-lysine thiobenzyl ester (BLT) by a recombinant rat GzmA in a concentration-dependent manner. Heparin, a sulfated polysaccharide from animal tissues, also increase the BLT hydrolysis, but the effect was less remarkable than those of the polysaccharides from the seaweeds. Hanes-Woolf analysis revealed that the enhancements in the presence of these sulfated compounds from the seaweeds were attributed to the increases in the affinity of the enzyme toward the substrate but not to those in the turnover rate. Chondroitin sulfate A, a sulfated polysaccharide found in animal and plant tissues, showed no positive effect on the hydrolysis. In the present paper, we propose that the enhancement of immune responses by intake of the sulfated polysaccharides from seaweeds can be partially accounted for by their direct effects on GzmA.