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Life Sci. 1994;55(4):253-62.

Minireview: trichosanthin--a protein with multiple pharmacological properties.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT.


Trichosanthin (TCS), a protein isolated from the root tuber of the Chinese medicinal herb Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim., is used to induce abortion in China. It also possesses immunomodulatory, anti-tumor and anti-human immunodeficiency virus properties. TCS is a member of the family of ribosome-inactivating proteins and inactivates eukaryotic ribosomes via its N-glycosidase activity. The gene encoding TCS has been cloned and over-expressed and the crystal structure of this protein resolved to 1.73A. In this review, the various pharmacological properties of TCS are discussed and assessed.

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