Vallaris solanacea: A rich source for biopharmaceuticals
Dr. Silpa Somavarapu, I Bhaskar Reddy
Plant based medications had served from the earliest period of the human civilization as the most important therapeutic weapon available to man to fight various human and animal diseases. Vallaris solanacea (Roth) Kuntze (Family: Apocyanacea) locally named as Agarmoni, bread flower is a tall climbing shrub.It is distributed throughout India and cultivated as an ornamental plant for its white fragrant flowers traditionally used against ring worms and skin infections. The plant extract contains reducing sugars, tannins, saponins, gums, steroids, alkaloids and glycosides and is medicinally important with its cytotoxic, antioxidant, antinociceptive, antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrhoel activities. As an accumulators of pollutants it has an an important role in phytoremediation. Fascinated by the fact that this plant is a natural source of pharmaceuticals, in the present study a proteolytic enzyme has been extracted from the latex of the plant Vallaris solanacea. Preliminary investigations were carried out on this protease which included the effect of time, enzyme concentration, pH, temperature, activators and inhibitors on the caseinolytic activity of crude protease. Stability towards temperature and pH were also checked. Further a cysteine protease was purified from crude latex of Vallaris solanacea by fractionation with ammonium sulphate, ion exchange and gel chromatography. The enzyme was purified to a state of near homogeneity as checked by polyacylamide gel electrophoresis at pH 8.3. The proteolytic enzyme present in the latex of Vallaris solanacea is referred to as solanain. Its antimicrobial properties were studied. Thus this information emphasizes that Vallaris can be explored for new drugs.