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oxidative protein modification as predigestive mechanism of the carnivorous plantDionaea muscipula: An hypothesis based on in vitro experiments

Authors
Journal
Free Radical Biology and Medicine
0891-5849
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
9
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0891-5849(90)90020-j
Keywords
  • Dionaea Muscipula
  • Oxygen Activation
  • Naphthoquinones
  • Protein Degradation
  • Carnivorous Plants
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Abstract Aqueous leaf extracts from Dionaea muscipula contain quinones such as the naphthoquinone plumbagin that couple to different NADH-dependent diaphorases, producing superoxide and hydrogen peroxide upon autoxidation. Upon preincubation of Dionaea extracts with certain diaphorases and NADH in the presence of serumalbumin (SA), subsequent tryptic digestion of SA is facilitated. Since the secretroy glands of Droseracea contain proteases and possibly other degradative enzymes it is suggested that the presence of oxygen-activating redox cofactors in the extracts function as extracullular predigestive oxidants which render membrane-bound proteins of the prey (insects) more susceptible to proteolytic attacks.

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