Molecular Interactions between Barley and Oat β-Glucans and Phenolic Derivatives

Henrik Toft Simonsen, Mette Skovgaard Nielsen, Niels J. Christensen, Ulla Christensen, Thomas V. La Cour, Mohammed Saddik Motawia, Birthe P. A. Jespersen, Soren B. Engelsen, Birger Lindberg Møller

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Equilibrium dialysis, molecular modeling, and multivariate data analysis were used to investigate the nature of the molecular interactions between 21 vanillin-inspired phenolic derivatives, 4 bile salts, and 2 commercially available β-glucan preparations, Glucagel and PromOat, from barley and oats. The two β-glucan products showed very similar binding properties. It was demonstrated that the two β-glucan products are able to absorb most phenolic derivatives at a level corresponding to the absorption of bile salts. Glucosides of the phenolic compounds showed poor or no absorption. The four phenolic derivatives that showed strongest retention in the dialysis assay shared the presence of a hydroxyl group in para-position to a CHO group. However, other compounds with the same structural feature but possessing a different set of additional functional groups showed less retention. Principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least-squares regression (PLS) calculations using a multitude of diverse descriptors related to electronic, geometrical, constitutional, hybrid, and topological features of the phenolic compounds showed a marked distinction between aglycon, glucosides, and bile salt retention. These analyses did not offer additional information with respect to the mode of interaction of the individual phenolics with the β-glucans. When the barley β-glucan was subjected to enzyme degradation, the ability to bind some but not all of the phenolic derivatives was lost. It is concluded that the binding must be dependent on multiple characteristics that are not captured by a single molecular descriptor.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2056-2064
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Barley
  • Oat
  • Bile salts
  • Phenolic derivatives
  • β-glucosides
  • β-glucan

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