More Possible Uses:
MEMBRANE PROTECTION: In plants, fructans serve as carbohydrate storage compounds. Evidence suggests they may also provide plant cells with enhanced drought tolerance and freeze resistance. Studies to elucidate the mechanism of these properties have begun to reveal the interaction between membrane components and the fructans. Vereyken et al showed that both an intermediate sized levan (DP 125) and a low molecular weight inulin protected the membrane barrier more effectively than dextran during dehydration-rehydration cycles. It appeared that levan was inserted in the headgroup region between lipid layers (Vereyken a and b). Similar studies have not been done on high molecular weight levans.
Vereyken I, van Kuik J, Evers T, Rijken P, de Kruijff B. Structural requirements of the fructan-lipid interaction. Biophysical Journal 84, 3147-3154 (2003). (a)
Vereyken I, Chupin V, Islamov A, Kuklin A, Hincha D, de Kruijff B. The effect of fructan on the phospholipid organization in the dry state. Biophysical Journal 85: 3058-3065 (2003). (b)