Enzymatic production of 3,6-anhydro-l-galactose from agarose and its purification and in vitro skin whitening and anti-inflammatory activities

Eun Ju Yun, Saeyoung Lee, Ji Hye Kim, Bo Bae Kim, Hee Taek Kim, Sun Hee Lee, Jeffrey G. Pelton, Nam Joo Kang, In-Geol Choi, Kyoung Heon Kim

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3,6-Anhydro-l-galactose (L-AHG) constitutes 50 % of agarose, which is the main component of red macroalgae. No information is currently available on the mass production, metabolic fate, or physiological effects of L-AHG. Here, agarose was converted to L-AHG in the following three steps: pre-hydrolysis of agarose into agaro-oligosaccharides by using acetic acid, hydrolysis of the agaro-oligosaccharides into neoagarobiose by an exo-agarase, and hydrolysis of neoagarobiose into L-AHG and galactose by a neoagarobiose hydrolase. After these three steps, L-AHG was purified by adsorption and gel permeation chromatographies. The final product obtained was 95.6 % pure L-AHG at a final yield of 4.0 % based on the initial agarose. In a cell proliferation assay, L-AHG at a concentration of 100 or 200 μg/ mL did not exhibit any significant cytotoxicity. In a skin whitening assay, 100 μg/ mL of L-AHG showed significantly lower melanin production compared to arbutin. L-AHG at 100 and 200 μg/ mL showed strong anti-inflammatory activity, indicating the significant suppression of nitrite production. This is the first report on the production of high-purity L-AHG and its physiological activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2961-2970
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 1



  • 3,6-Anhydro-l-galactose
  • Agar
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Red macroalgae
  • Skin whitening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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