Fingerprinting of Proteases, Protease Inhibitors and Indigenous Peptides in Human Milk

Martin Nørmark Thesbjerg, Søren Drud-Heydary Nielsen, Ulrik Kræmer Sundekilde, Nina Aagaard Poulsen, Lotte Bach Larsen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The presence of proteases and their resulting level of activity on human milk (HM) proteins may aid in the generation of indigenous peptides as part of a pre-digestion process, of which some have potential bioactivity for the infant. The present study investigated the relative abundance of indigenous peptides and their cleavage products in relation to the abundance of observed proteases and protease inhibitors. The proteomes and peptidomes in twelve HM samples, representing six donors at lactation months 1 and 3, were profiled. In the proteome, 39 proteases and 29 protease inhibitors were identified in 2/3 of the samples. Cathepsin D was found to be present in higher abundance in the proteome compared with plasmin, while peptides originating from plasmin cleavage were more abundant than peptides from cathepsin D cleavage. As both proteases are present as a system of pro- and active- forms, their activation indexes were calculated. Plasmin was more active in lactation month 3 than month 1, which correlated with the total relative abundance of the cleavage product ascribed to plasmin. By searching the identified indigenous peptides in the milk bioactive peptide database, 283 peptides were ascribed to 10 groups of bioactivities. Antimicrobial peptides were significantly more abundant in month 1 than month 3; this group comprised 103 peptides, originating from the β-CN C-terminal region.
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023