Turkish Journal of Biology




A Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor protein has been purified and characterized from seeds of Acacia nilotica L. LC-MS/MS analysis of Acacia nilotica trypsin inhibitor (AnTI) provided the N-terminal fragment of 11 amino acids which yielded 100% identity with already reported Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor protein of Acacia confusa (AcTI) in UniProtKB database search. SDS-PAGE showed a single band of ~21 kDa under nonreduced condition and appearance of a daughter band (17 kDa) in the presence of ß-mercaptoethanol indicating the presence of interchain disulfide linkage typical for Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitors. AnTI was purified from seed extract by using a combination of anion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. Since AnTI showed maximum homology with AcTI, a molecular structure of AcTI was predicted which showed highly ß-sheeted molecular conformation similar to crystallographic structure of Enterolobium contortisiliquum trypsin inhibitor (EcTI). AnTI (20 μg) produces significant population inhibition against different human pathogenic bacteria along strong antifungal activity (50 μg). Entomotoxin potential of AnTI was evaluated against two stored grain insect pests Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Tenebrionidae: Coleoptera) and Sitophilus oryzae (Linnaeus) (Curculionidae: Coleoptera). Statistically significant mortality of T. castaneum adults was observed at 1.5 mg after 15 days in comparison to control. Additionally, number of total eggs, larvae, pupae, adults, and their male/female ratio were also severely reduced in comparison to control. Similarly, two generation progeny of S. oryzae was studied after mixing AnTI with rice kernels. Mean percent mortality of adult population was significantly higher after 9 days of exposure in comparison to control group. AnTI significantly reduced the F1 generation while little mortality was observed for F2 generation. Exploration of such potent molecules is the prerequisite of our time regarding the anticipation of postantibiotic era and the development of insect resistance against chemical pesticides.

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