Papain from papaya latex

lyophilized powder, aseptically filled

CAS Number:
Enzyme Commission number:
EC Number:
MDL number:
Pricing and availability is not currently available.


aseptically filled

Quality Level


lyophilized powder

specific activity

≥8.0 units/mg protein

mol wt

23.4 kDa


H2O: soluble 1.2 mg/mL

storage temp.


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General description

Papain is a thermostable enzyme and becomes inactive at 55°C. It has two domains and the catalytic region is present at the domain interface. The cysteine 25 in the active site performs the proteolysis by nucleophilic attack on the carbonyl carbon of a peptides. Papain has wide industrial applications in food and pharmaceutical industry.


The product from Sigma has been used in the digestion of extracellular matrix (ECM). It has also been used with other proteolytic enzymes for in situ protein degradation to produce crystals suitable for structure determination.
Papain is used in dissecting solutions. It is used to produce Fab fragments of antibodies . It is used for cell dissociation since it has been shown to be more effective and less damaging with certain tissues. Papain has been used to isolate morphologically intact cortical neurons from postnatal rats. Limited papain digestion is used for structural studies of enzymes and other proteins. In addition, papain is used in red cell serology to modify the red cell surface to enhance or destroy the reactivity of many red cell antigens. Papain is useful for platelet serology studies. Papain has also been used in the enzymatic synthesis of amino acids, peptides, and other molecules. Product P5306 is provided as a lyophilized powder that is aseptically filled. It has been used to digest mouse retinas to study the RAGE axis in nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR).
Used to produce Fab fragments of antibodies. Also used for cell dissociation since it has been shown to be more effective and less damaging with certain tissues.

Biochem/physiol Actions

Papain papaya latex has antifungal activity against C. albicans. Papain consists of a single polypeptide chain with three disulfide bridges and a sulfhydryl group necessary for activity of the enzyme.
A cysteine protease that cleaves peptide bonds of basic amino acids, leucine, or glycine.
pH optimum 6.0-7.0
Also hydrolyzes esters and amides.

Unit Definition

One unit will hydrolyze 1.0 μmole of BAEE per minute at pH 6.2 at 25 deg C.

Preparation Note

Prepared from P 4762

Other Notes

View more information on papain at www.sigma-aldrich.com/enzymeexplorer.


Exclamation markHealth hazard

Signal Word


Hazard Statements

Precautionary Statements

Target Organs

Respiratory system

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US),Eyeshields,Gloves


NONH for all modes of transport

WGK Germany


Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Gaetano R Barile et al.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 46(8), 2916-2924 (2005-07-27)
The receptor for advanced glycation end products (AGEs) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. This study was conducted to characterize the role of the RAGE axis in a murine model of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). The retinas...
Improving thermostability of papain through structure-based protein engineering
Choudhury D, et al.
Protein engineering, design & selection : PEDS, 23(6), 457-467 (2010)
Amy Wernimont et al.
PloS one, 4(4), e5094-e5094 (2009-04-09)
For every 100 purified proteins that enter crystallization trials, an average of 30 form crystals, and among these only 13-15 crystallize in a form that enables structure determination. In 2007, Dong et al reported that the addition of trace amounts...
Jan Willem van Rijswijk et al.
The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, 160(4), e201-e215 (2020-03-11)
Decellularized extracellular matrix made from porcine small intestinal submucosa, commercially available as CorMatrix (CorMatrix Cardiovascular, Inc, Roswell, Ga) is used off-label to reconstruct heart valves. Recently, surgeons experienced failures and words of caution were raised. The aim of this study...
Papain, a plant enzyme of biological importance: a review
Ezekiel A and Florence M
American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 8(2), 99-104 (2012)
Papain is a cysteine protease of the peptidase C1 family. Papain consists of a single polypeptide chain with three disulfide bridges and a sulfhydryl group necessary for activity of the enzyme.
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