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E. Boldrini, R. Moschini, U. Mura, G. Falcone, M. Setti, A. Del Corso; Reversible Interaction Between Mucin and Arabinogalactan (AG), a New No-Viscous Polymer With a Protective Role on the Ocular Surface. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2361. doi: https://doi.org/.
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One of the most important properties of ophthalmic preparations for the amelioration of dry eye syndrome is their residence on the ocular surface. Arabinogalactan (AG), a natural polysaccharide present in conifers of the genus Larix (Larch), was recently shown to exert a corneal protective action. Mucins are the main glycoproteins which protect the corneal surface, so a relevant investigation is the assessment of the mucoadhesive properties of AG by evaluating its ability to interact with mucins.
Mucin MUC1, a transmembrane glycoprotein isolated from submaxillary glands was purchased from Sigma-Aldrich. AG, pharmaceutical grade, was supplied by Opocrin S.p.A. AG content was evaluated spectrophotometrically upon reaction with the anthrone reagent.
The interaction between AG and mucin was studied through a gel filtration chromatography approach. The two molecular species displayed, when chromatographed separately on Sephacryl S-300, well distinct elution peaks. However, a significant change in the elution profile of AG, compatible with a transient coelution of the two molecules, was observed when the polysaccharide was chromatographed in the presence of mucin, at different ratios mucin:AG (w:w). On the contrary, no effect was exerted on the elution profile of AG by different proteins or glycoproteins with molecular mass comparable with mucin.
Mucin and Arabinogalactan do interact, giving rise to reversible adduct formation. This is supportive of the possibility of temporarily retention of AG preparation on the ocular surface.
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