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A Novel Antilithiatic Protein from Tribulus terrestris Having Cytoprotective Potency

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Adhesion of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals to kidney cells is a key event in kidney stones associated with marked hyperoxaluria. As the propensity of stone recurrence and persistent side effects are not altered by surgical techniques available, phytotherapeutic agents could be useful as an adjuvant therapy. The present study is aimed at examining the antilithiatic potency of the protein biomolecules of Tribulus terrestris, a plant which is a common constituent of herbal marketed preparations to treat urolithiasis. Various biochemical methods with mass spectrometry were used to purify and characterize the purified protein. The protective potency of the protein was tested on the oxalate induced injury on renal epithelial cell lines (NRK 52E). An antilithiatic protein having molecular weight of ~ 60kDa was purified. This purified protein showed similarities with Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 7 (CCD7) of Arabidopsis thaliana after matching peptide mass fingerprints in MASCOT search engine. An EF hand domain was identified in CCD7 by SCAN PROSITE. Presence of an EF hand domain, a characteristic feature of calcium binding proteins and a role in the synthesis of retinol which is transported by retinol binding protein, a protein found in kidney stone matrix; of CCD7 support the role of TTP as an antilithiatic protein. The protective potency of TTP on NRK 52E was quite comparable to the aqueous extract of cystone. Our findings suggest that this purified protein biomolecule from Tribulus terrestris could open new vista in medical management of urolithiasis.
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Keywords: Calcareous stones; Calcium oxalate; NRK 52E; Nephrolithiasis; Randall’s plaques; Tribulus terrestris; carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 7; uric acid; urinary crystallisation; urolithiasis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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