A protease extract from Antarctic krill (E. superba) intended as a new enzymatic debrider for necrotic ulcers has been characterized by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis and fast protein liquid chromatography. The predominant enzymes in the preparation represent trypsin-like activity associated with three serine proteinases. In addition two carboxypeptidases A and B are present as cooperative enzymes for a more complete breakdown of complex proteinaceous substrates. Biological studies on a well-defined substrate (fibrin) originating from leg ulcers, demonstrated more effective degradation by krill enzymes than bovine trypsin, a common component in marketed enzymatic debriders. These findings support previously in vitro/in vivo studies in an animal model (rat) using excised rat skin as “necrotic” tissue.
Antarctic krill (E. superba)ProteasesBiochemical/biological profileEnzymatic debridement