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Biochimica et biophysica acta

Plant collagenase: unique collagenolytic activity of cysteine proteases from ginger.


PMID 17920199

Abstract

Two cysteine proteases, GP2 and GP3, have been isolated from ginger rhizomes (Zingiber officinale). GP2 is virtually identical to a previously identified ginger protease GPII [K.H. Choi, and R.A. Laursen, Amino-acid sequence and glycan structures of cysteine proteases with proline specificity from ginger rhizome Zingiber officinale, Eur. J. Biochem. 267 (2000) 1516-1526.], and cleaves native type I collagen at multiple discrete sites, which are in the interior of the triple helical region of this molecule. In reaction with proline-containing peptides GP2 shows preference for Pro in the P2 position, and at least 10-fold higher efficiency of hydrolysis than papain. Comparison of models of GP2 and GP3 with the crystal structure of papain shows that the three enzymes have different S2 pocket structures. The S2 pocket in GP2 and GP3 is half the size of that of papain. GP2 is the only reported plant cysteine protease with a demonstrated ability to hydrolyse native collagen. The results support a role for ginger proteases as an alternative to papain, in commercial applications such as meat tenderization, where collagen is the target substrate.

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