Does structure affect biological function? Modifications to the protein and phospholipids fraction of the milk fat globule membrane after extraction affect the antiproliferative activity of colon cancer cells

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  • Romina Zanabria, Univ Guelph, University of Guelph, Canadian Res Inst Food Safety CRIFS
  • ,
  • Mansel W. Griffiths, Univ Guelph, University of Guelph, Canadian Res Inst Food Safety CRIFS
  • ,
  • Milena Corredig

In this work, the known antiproliferative activity of the untreated milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) against human colon cancer cells was employed to test the hypothesis that the supramolecular structure of the MFGM is of important biological significance. The results indicated that there is a relationship between the extent of thermal denaturation and the loss of antiproliferative capacity. There was also a clear reduction of the biological activity, when the MFGM was treated by hydrolysis using trypsin or phospholipase A(2), enzymes specific either for the protein or the phospholipids components present in the MFGM. It was concluded that the bioactivity of the MFGM can not be explained only by the presence of bioactive components, but that their structural organization plays a critical role in the antiproliferative activities of the extracts. Practical applications The milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) is characterized by a complex composition and structure, with biological significance. It is known that with processing, the composition of the MFGM is modified, due to protein-protein interactions at the interface. In this work, the MFGM was isolated from untreated milk and while maintaining its overall composition, its molecular and supramolecular structures were modified using heating or specific hydrolysis to the protein or phospholipids' components. All targeted modifications affected the bioefficacy of the MFGM against colon cancer cells, thus demonstrating the importance of processing history on the functionality of the MFGM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13104
JournalJournal of Food Biochemistry
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

    Research areas

  • bioactivity, milk fat globule membrane, milk matrix, milk phospholipids, structure, BOVINE-MILK, P-31 NMR, DIGESTION, COMPLEX

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