A trypsin inhibitor, PdKI, was purified from Pithecellobium dumosum seeds by TCA precipitation, trypsin-sepharose chromatography, and reversed-phase-HPLC. PdKI was purified 217.6-fold and recovered 4.7%. SDS-PAGE showed that PdKI is a single polypeptide chain of 18.9 kDa and 19.7 kDa by MALDI-TOF. The inhibition on trypsin was stable in the pH range 2-10 and at a temperature of 50 degrees C. The Ki values were 3.56 x 10(-8)and 7.61 x 10(-7) M with competitive and noncompetitive inhibition mechanisms for trypsin and papain, respectively. The N-terminal sequence identified with members of Kunitz-type inhibitors from the Mimosoideae and Caesalpinoideae subfamilies. PdKI was effective against digestive proteinase from Zabrotes subfasciatus, Ceratitis capitata, Plodia interpunctella, Alabama argillaceae, and Callosobruchus maculatus, with 69, 66, 44, 38, and 29% inhibition, respectively. Results support that PdKI is a member of the Kunitz inhibitor family and its insecticidal properties indicate a potent insect antifeedant.