Plant Protease Inhibitors in Therapeutics-Focus on Cancer Therapy

Frontiers in Pharmacology
Sandhya Srikanth, Zhong Chen


Plants are known to have many secondary metabolites and phytochemical compounds which are highly explored at biochemical and molecular genetics level and exploited enormously in the human health care sector. However, there are other less explored small molecular weight proteins, which inhibit proteases/proteinases. Plants are good sources of protease inhibitors (PIs) which protect them against diseases, insects, pests, and herbivores. In the past, proteinaceous PIs were considered primarily as protein-degrading enzymes. Nevertheless, this view has significantly changed and PIs are now treated as very important signaling molecules in many biological activities such as inflammation, apoptosis, blood clotting and hormone processing. In recent years, PIs have been examined extensively as therapeutic agents, primarily to deal with various human cancers. Interestingly, many plant-based PIs are also found to be effective against cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases and neurological disorders. Several plant PIs are under further evaluation in in vitro clinical trials. Among all types of PIs, Bowman-Birk inhibitors (BBI) have been studied extensively in the treatment of many diseases, especially in the field of c...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

flow cytometry
gel filtration

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