On the 19th of November, Martin Beukema graduated Cum Laude at the University of Groningen on his thesis titled ‘Structure-function relationship between homogalacturonan pectins and intestinal immunity’. As part of the Carbokinetics program of the CCC, Martin worked in close collaboration with Éva Jermendi (WUR) on how the level and distribution of methyl-esters in homogalacturonan pectins influence Toll-like receptor signaling (link to paper: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117093), prevent intestinal inflammation in the small intestine (10.1002/mnfr.202100222) and large intestine (10.1002/mnfr.202100346), and prevent infection by enteric pathogens (10.1039/d0fo02605k). We are now one step closer to understanding which specific pectin structures influence intestinal immunity. The obtained knowledge can help the industry in tailoring pectin formulations with anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to improve (intestinal) health.
Link to thesis: https://research.rug.nl/en/publications/structure-function-relationship-between-homogalacturonan-pectins-