Cell walls of the brown algae contain a diverse range of polysaccharides with useful bioactivities. The precise structures of the sulfated fucan/fucoidan group of polysaccharides and their roles in generating cell wall architectures and cell properties are not known in detail. Four rat monoclonal antibodies, BAM1 to BAM4, directed to sulfated fucan preparations, have been generated and used to dissect the heterogeneity of brown algal cell wall polysaccharides. BAM1 and BAM4, respectively, bind to a non-sulfated epitope and a sulfated epitope present in the sulfated fucan preparations. BAM2 and BAM3 identified additional distinct epitopes present in the fucoidan preparations. All four epitopes, not yet fully characterised, occur widely within the major brown algal taxonomic groups and show divergent distribution patterns in tissues. The analysis of cell wall extractions and fluorescence imaging reveal differences in the occurrence of the BAM1 to BAM4 epitopes in various tissues of Fucus vesiculosus. In Ectocarpus subulatus, a species closely related to the brown algal model Ectocarpus siliculosus, the BAM4 sulfated epitope was modulated in relation to salinity levels. This new set of monoclonal antibodies will be useful for the dissection of the highly complex and yet poorly resolved sulfated polysaccharides in the brown algae in relation to their ecological and economic significance.
Torode, T. A., Marcus, S. E., Jam, M., Tonon, T., Blackburn, R. S., Hervé, C., & Knox, J. P. (2015). Monoclonal antibodies directed to fucoidan preparations from brown algae. PLoS ONE, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118366