Peptide synthesis refers to the production of peptides. Proteases are the enzymes that degrade proteins. They hold first place in the world market of enzymes, estimated at ∼US$3 billion. Proteases are distributed widely in different parts of the biological sources. In occurrence of proteases, plant kingdom occupies the highest rank. The increasing demand for proteases and the need for economical production of commercially useful industrial proteases from novel sources are taken into consideration. A novel plant latex cysteine protease namely Vallaris solanacea was identified in Biodiversity Park, Visakhapatnam which showed maximum protease activity. It has been shown that the latex of Vallaris solanacea contains a high protease activity. The cysteine protease solanain was purified by fractionation with ammonium sulphate followed by DEAE-cellulose ion exchange and gel chromatography. Specificity studies towards synthetic peptide and ester substrates by the protease purified from the latex of Vallaris solanacea were performed. The purified solanain exhibited broad specificity similar to other cysteine proteases. However considerable differences were also noticed in the rate of hydrolysis and specificity towards simple peptide substrates.
Part of the book: Peptide Synthesis