A comprehensive review of sulfated fucan from sea cucumber: Antecedent and prospect

Guangning Chen, Long Yu, Feifei Shi, Jingjing Shen, Yuying Zhang, Guanchen Liu, Xuanwei Mei, Xinyu Li, Xiaoqi Xu, Changhu Xue, Yaoguang Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sulfated fucan from sea cucumber is mainly consists of L-fucose and sulfate groups. Recent studies have confirmed that the structure of sulfated fucan mainly consists of repeating units, typically tetrasaccharides. However, there is growing evidence indicating the presence of irregular domains with heterogeneous units that have not been extensively explored. Moreover, as a key contributor to the nutritional benefits of sea cucumbers, sulfated fucan demonstrates a range of biological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, anticancer, hypolipidemic, anti-hyperglycemic, antioxidant, and anticoagulant properties. These biological activities are profoundly influenced by the structural features of sulfated fucan including molecular weight and distribution patterns of sulfate groups. The latest research indicates that sulfated fucan is dispersed in the extracellular matrix of the body wall of sea cucumbers. This article aimed to review the research progress on the in-situ distribution, structures, structural elucidation strategies, functions, and structure-activity relationships of sulfated fucan, especially in the last decade. It also provided insights into the major challenges and potential solutions in the research and development of sulfated fucan. Moreover, the fucanase and carbohydrate binding modules are anticipated to play pivotal roles in advancing this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122345
Number of pages13
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Early online date1 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2024


  • Function
  • Sea cucumber
  • Structure
  • Structure-activity relationship
  • Sulfated fucan


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