Extraction, purification and characterization of a novel cysteine protease from the latex of plant Vallaris solanacea

  • Silpa Somavarapu
  • Sandeep Vemula
  • I. Bhaskar Reddy
Original Article


Plant proteases with excellent catalytical properties perform many functions in biological systems. A novel plant protease Vallaris solanacea, was identified. Its proteolytic activity was screened using the substrate casein. This protein activity was specifically inhibited by p-chloromercuribenzoate, which showed that it is a cysteine protease. Preliminary investigations such as pH effect and temperature dependence on the caseinolytic activity of crude protease were done. Stability towards temperature and pH were also evaluated. The activity curves drawn in relation to pH, temperature and stability suggested the presence of one protease in the latex of Vallaris solanacea. In the present study, separation and purification of the latex cysteine protease solanain from Vallaris solanacea to a state of near homogeneity was also done using ion exchange and size exclusion chromatography. SDS PAGE was used to determine molecular weight of the solanain (28–29 kDa). The molecular weight was confirmed as 28.9 kDa using MALDI-TOF. Purified protease was named solanain and it was further characterized. An internal tryptic fragment was identified by MALDI-TOF, and this peptide showed a homology (66% sequence similarity) with target sequence of cysteine endopeptidase from Ricinus communis.


Latex Cysteine proteases Vallaris solanacea Caseinolytic activity Crude protease Sequence identity Ricinus communis 



β-Mercapto ethanol


Tri chloro acetate


Ethylene diamino tetra acetic acid




Sodium dodecyl sulphate


Diethyl amino ethyl


Phenyl methyl sulfonyl fluoride


Folin–Ciocalteu reagent



We thank the Department of Biochemistry, Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management, for providing the necessary facilities to conduct our research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The article is entirely a study on plants. It does not include any animals or human participants.

Supplementary material

13562_2017_429_MOESM1_ESM.docx (496 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 495 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silpa Somavarapu
    • 1
  • Sandeep Vemula
    • 2
  • I. Bhaskar Reddy
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food TechnologyVikrama Simhapuri UniversitySPSR, NelloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Centre for Bioprocess TechnologyK L E F UniversityGunturIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryGitam UniversityVisakhapatnamIndia

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