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Abstract

A STUDY ON PLANT LATEX, A RICH SOURCE OF PROTEASES AND CUTTING EDGE FOR DISEASE INVASION

Dr. Silpa Somavarapu, Prof. I. Bhaskar Reddy and M. Prasad Naidu*

ABSTRACT

India is one of the twelve mega biodiversity centers having more than 45,000 plant species. A vast ethnobotanical lore exists in India from ancient time which can be of real use in the formulation of effective therapeutics. Plant based medications had served from the earliest period of the human civilization as the most important therapeutic weapon available to man to fight various human and animal diseases. The world is now looking towards India for new drugs to manage various challenging diseases due to its rich biodiversity of medicinal plants and abundance of traditional knowledge such as Siddha, Ayurveda and Unani. Many plants exudate latex when injured. The latex of some plant families such as Asteraceae, Caricaceae, Moraceae, Asclepiadaceae, Apocynaceae and Euphorbiaceae contains number of proteins and enzymes. The proteolytic activities of plant lattices was estimated by using casein as substrate. Cysteine proteases (EC 3.4.2.2), with a cysteine residue in their active center form the well distributed class. They are usually identified based on the effect of their active site inhibitors like iodoacetate, iodoacetamide, chloroacetate, para chloromercuribenzoate, EDTA and pepstatin. Activation of the enzymes was done by thiol compounds. A novel plant protease has been identified from Vallaris solanacea and screened for its caseinolytic activity. Its protein concentration was found to be 5mg/ml. Thus this information emphasizes that further research on Vallaris can be explored for new drugs.

Keywords: Plant Latex, Proteases, Vallaris Solanacea and Proteins.


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