Alkali-soluble polysaccharides (ASPs) were isolated from the cell wall of four Aspergillus
species (A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, A. niger, and A. wentii). The chemical and spectroscopic investigations
(immunofluorescent labelling, composition analysis, methylation analysis, FTIR, and 1H NMR)
indicated that the ASPs were polymers composed almost exclusively of (1→3)-linked α-D-glucose.
After carboxymethylation (CM), the activity of (1→3)-α-D-glucans on three human cell lines (HSF, HeLa, and Jurkat)
was assessed. Anti-proliferative, cytotoxic, and free radical scavenging action of CM-α-D-glucans was analysed. All the
tested CM-α-D-glucans decreased cellular metabolism. However, incubation with CM-α-D-glucan from A. wentii and A.
niger increased (by ca. 50%) the viability of HSF cells. Moreover, an over 5-fold increase in the viability was found for
Jurkat cells incubated with CM-α-D-glucans from A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. The CM-(1→3)-α-D-glucans from the
tested Aspergillus species expressed no free radical scavenging action. Fluorescent staining revealed that CM-α-D-glucans
exerted slight toxic effects on cell viability and no action on F-actin filaments of cellular cytoskeleton organization.