Procoagulant Properties of Plant Latex Proteases
Plant derived molecules have found to be potential intervention with the human physiological events. The foundation laid for the search of pharmacologically active plant molecules is by the traditional knowledge which is passing from generation to generation. Latex of several plants obtained medicinal importance and is exclusively used as a common remedy to stop bleeding on fresh cuts and wound healing. The observed pharmacological activity of plant latices is attributed to the presence of proteolytic enzymes in it. Proteases found in plant latices belong to either cysteine or serine protease family, only one is a member of aspartate protease family. Plant latex proteases exhibit procoagulant action irrespective of the plant species and family. Their mechanism involved in the procoagulant action is yet to be understood clearly. The nature of procoagulant action of plant latices serine proteases is not clear. Where as cysteine proteases from plant latices exhibited specificities upon coagulation factors in inducing plasma coagulation. Ficin derived from Ficus carica shown to activate coagulation factor X. Cysteine proteases present in the latices of Asclepiadaceae plants have got thrombin like activity. Thrombin like activity of plant latex cysteine proteases is due to specific cleavage of fibrinogen molecules releasing fibrinopeptides. Apart from blood clot inducing property, both cysteine and serine proteases from plant latices have blood clot dissolving properties (Plasmin like activity). These specific actions of plant latex proteases on the coagulation cascade, could possibly utilized as biological tools in coagulation laboratory and as therapeutic agents.
KeywordsSerine Protease Cysteine Protease Snake Venom Fibrin Clot Procoagulant Action
H.V. Shivaprasad and R. Rajesh thank the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India for financial support.
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