Fibrin(ogen)olytic and antiplatelet activities of a subtilisin-like protease from Solanum tuberosum (StSBTc-3)
Plant serine proteases have been widely used in food science and technology as well as in medicine. In this sense, several plant serine proteases have been proposed as potential anti-coagulants and antiplatelet agents. Previously, we have reported the purification and identification of a plant serine protease from Solanum tuberosum leaves. This potato enzyme, named as StSBTc-3, has a molecular weight of 72 kDa and it was characterized as a subtilisin like protease. In this work we determine and characterize the biochemical and medicinal properties of StSBTc-3. Results obtained show that, like the reported to other plant serine proteases, StSBTc-3 is able to degrade all chains of human fibrinogen and to produces fibrin clot lysis in a dose dependent manner. The enzyme efficiently hydrolyzes b subunit followed by partially hydrolyzed a and g subunits of human fibrinogen. Assays performed to determine StSBTc-3 substrate specificity using oxidized insulin b-chain as substrate, show seven cleavage sites: Asn3-Gln4; Cys7-Gly8; Glu13-Ala14; Leu15-Tyr16; Tyr16-Leu17; Arg22-Gly23 and Phe25-Tyr26, all of them were previously reported for other serine proteases with fibrinogenolytic activity. The maximum StSBTc-3 fibrinogenolytic activity was determined at pH 8.0 and at 37 C. Additionally, we demonstrate that StSBTc- 3 is able to inhibit platelet aggregation and is unable to exert cytotoxic activity on human erythrocytes in vitro at all concentrations assayed. These results suggest that StSBTc-3 could be evaluated as a new agent to be used in the treatment of thromboembolic disorders such as strokes, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.