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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:728975. doi: 10.1155/2012/728975. Epub 2012 May 17.

A novel aspartic protease with HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activity from fresh fruiting bodies of the wild mushroom Xylaria hypoxylon.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology and Department of Microbiology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.


A novel aspartic protease with HIV-1 RT inhibitory activity was isolated and characterized from fruiting bodies of the wild mushroom Xylaria hypoxylon. The purification protocol comprised distilled water homogenization and extraction step, three ion exchange chromatographic steps (on DEAE-cellulose, Q-Sepharose, and CM-cellulose in succession), and final purification was by FPLC on Superdex 75. The protease was adsorbed on all the three ion exchangers. It was a monomeric protein with a molecular mass of 43 kDa as estimated by SDS-PAGE and FPLC. Its N-terminal amino acid sequence was HYTELLSQVV, which exhibited no sequence homology to other proteases reported. The activity of the protease was adversely affected by Pepstatin A, indicating that it is an aspartic protease. The protease activity was maximal or nearly so in the pH range 6-8 and in the temperature range 35-60°C. The purified enzyme exhibited HIV-1 RT inhibitory activity with an IC₅₀ value of 8.3 μM, but was devoid of antifungal, ribonuclease, and hemagglutinating activities.

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