Korean J Parasitol.  2008 Sep;46(3):183-186. 10.3347/kjp.2008.46.3.183.

Partial Purification and Characterization of a Cysteine Protease Inhibitor from the Plerocercoid of Spirometra erinacei

  • 1Department of Parasitology, Cheju National University College of Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Jeju 690-756, Korea.
  • 2Department of Parasitology and Ewha Global Challenge, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 158-710, Korea. parayang@ewha.ac.kr


Helminthic cysteine proteases are well known to play critical roles in tissue invasion, nutrient uptake, and immune evasion of the parasites. In the same manner, the sparganum, the plerocercoid of Spirometra mansoni, is also known to secrete a large amount of cysteine proteases. However, cysteine protease inhibitors regulating the proteolytic activities of the cysteine protease are poorly illustrated. In this regard, we partially purified an endogenous cysteine protease inhibitor from spargana and characterized its biochemical properties. The cysteine protease inhibitor was purified by sequential chromatographies using Resource Q anion exchanger and Superdex 200 HR gel filtration from crude extracts of spargana. The molecular weight of the purified protein was estimated to be about 11 kD on SDS-PAGE. It was able to inhibit papain and 27 kDa cysteine protease of spargana with the ratio of 25.7% and 49.1%, respectively, while did not inhibit chymotrypsin. This finding suggests that the cysteine protease inhibitor of spargana may be involved in regulation of endogenous cysteine proteases of the parasite, rather than interact with cysteine proteases from their hosts.


Spirometra mansoni; plerocercoid; sparganum; cysteine protease; inhibitor

MeSH Terms

Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism
Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry/*metabolism/*pharmacology
Helminth Proteins/*metabolism/*pharmacology
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