Turkish Journal of Biology




The present study was conducted to determine the protective effect of the purified protein from seeds of Peganum harmala against carbon tetrachloride (CCl_{4})-induced toxicity in male albino rats. The purification steps included ammonium sulfate fractionation and chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, CM-Sepharose, and Superdex 75 columns. The molecular mass of the purified protein was 132 kDa by gel filtration technique; it consisted of 2 subunits with molecular masses of 30.199 kDa and 38.018 kDa by SDS-PAGE. Results of the dose-dependent experiment with purified protein prior to CCl_4 administration were higher at 4 mg/kg body weight. The antioxidant activity of the purified protein was determined in vitro by DPPH radical scavenging test. Administration of CCl_4 significantly increased the activities of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase in serum. However, a significant decrease in the level of total serum protein as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and reduced glutathione in liver tissues, and a significant increase in malondialdehyde level, were recorded. Pretreatment with 4 mg/kg body weight of the purified protein significantly altered the deteriorating damage induced by CCl_4 toxicity to a near normal range, which was similar to treatment with vitamin C. These results suggest that the purified protein possesses a protective effect against CCl_4-induced toxicity and probably acts as an antioxidative defense through free radical scavenging activity.


Peganum harmala, CCl_4, hepatic toxicities, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, malondialdehyde

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