Xylomannan is an antifreeze molecule, found in the freeze-tolerant Alaskan beetle Upis ceramboides.[1] Unlike antifreeze proteins, xylomannan is not a protein. Instead, it is a combination of a sugar (saccharide) and a fatty acid that is found in cell membranes.[2] As such is expected to work in a different manner than AFPs. It is believed to work by incorporating itself directly into the cell membrane and preventing the freezing of water molecules within the cell.[3]

Xylomannan is also found in the red seaweed Nothogenia fastigiata. Fraction F6 of a sulphated xylomannan from Nothogenia fastigiata was found to inhibit replication of a variety of viruses, including Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV, HHV-5), Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Junin and Tacaribe virus, Simian immunodeficiency virus, and (weakly) Human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2.[4]


  1. ^ Walters KR Jr; Serianni AS; Sformo T; Barnes BM; Duman JG (2009). "A nonprotein thermal hysteresis-producing xylomannan antifreeze in the freeze-tolerant Alaskan beetle Upis ceramboides". PNAS. 106 (48): 20210–5. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909872106. PMC 2787118. PMID 19934038.
  2. ^ Ishiwata A, Sakurai A, Nishimiya Y, Tsuda S, Ito Y (Dec 7, 2011). "Synthetic study and structural analysis of the antifreeze agent xylomannan from Upis ceramboides". J Am Chem Soc. 133 (48): 19524–35. doi:10.1021/ja208528c. PMID 22029271.
  3. ^ "New Antifreeze Molecule Isolated In Alaska Beetle - Science News - redOrbit".
  4. ^ Damonte E, Neyts J, Pujol CA, et al. (June 1994). "Antiviral activity of a sulphated polysaccharide from the red seaweed Nothogenia fastigiata". Biochemical Pharmacology. 47 (12): 2187–92. doi:10.1016/0006-2952(94)90254-2. PMID 8031312.