Characteristics of B cell mitogen isolated from Korean-style fermented soybean paste

B. K. Lee, Y. S. Kwak, Y. S. Jang, J. D. Kim, K. S. Chung

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Korean-style fermented soybean paste (KFSP), Doenjang, is a traditional food that is consumed as a protein source in Korea. Recently, efforts to identify biological response modifiers (BRMs) have been focused on food products. Accordingly, this study which isolated a biologically active substance from KFSP, named KFSP-BRM, was defined to be a heat-stable carbohydrate with a molecular weight of 2,000 kDa. The biological activity of KFSP-BRM was not inactivated by treatment with an anti-LPS antibody. The oral as well as intraperitoneal treatment of mice with KFSP-BRM significantly enhanced the number of B cells expressing surface immunoglobulins (IgM and IgG). Subsequently, an increased level of immunoglobulins in the sera was also observed. In vitro, KFSP-BRM was found to upregulate the production of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6 by macrophages and B cells but not the production of IL-2 by T cells. In conclusion, these data demonstrate the presence of a BRM in KFSP, which may provide an additional benefit to those consuming it as a food. KFSP-BRM is a novel B cell mitogen distinct from fresh soybean lectin or B cell mitogens, such as LPS and Streptococcus protein A. The major biological effects of KFSP-BRM would appear to be an increased production of IL-1 and IL-6 by macrophages and B cells, thereby enhancing the function of mature B cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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