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Phytomedicine. 2009 May;16(5):444-50. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2008.09.006. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

A protein with antiproliferative, antifungal and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities from caper (Capparis spinosa) seeds.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.


A protein exhibiting an N-terminal amino acid sequence with some similarity to imidazoleglycerol phosphate synthase was purified from fresh Capparis spinosa melon seeds. The purification protocol entailed anion exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, cation exchange chromatography on SP-Sepharose, and finally gel filtration by fast protein liquid chromatography on Superdex 75. The protein was adsorbed using 20 mM Tris-HCl buffer (pH 7.4) and desorbed using 1 M NaCl in the starting buffer from the DEAE-cellulose column and SP-Sepharose column. The protein demonstrated a molecular mass of 38 kDa in gel filtration and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, indicating that it was monomeric. The protein inhibited proliferation of hepatoma HepG2 cells, colon cancer HT29 cells and breast cancer MCF-7 cells with an IC(50) of about 1, 40 and 60 microM, respectively. It inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase with IC(50) of 0.23 microM. It inhibited mycelial growth in the fungus, Valsa mali. It did not exhibit hemagglutinating, ribonuclease, mitogenic or protease inhibitory activities.

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