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Molecular Properties and New Potentials of Plant Nepenthesins

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Nepenthesins are aspartic proteases (APs) categorized under the A1B subfamily. Due to nepenthesin-specific sequence features, the A1B subfamily is also named nepenthesin-type aspartic proteases (NEPs). Nepenthesins are mostly known from the pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes, where they are availed for the hydrolyzation of insect protein required for the assimilation of insect nitrogen resources. However, nepenthesins are widely distributed within the plant kingdom and play significant roles in plant species other than Nepenthes. Although they have received limited attention when compared to other members of the subfamily, current data indicates that they have exceptional molecular and biochemical properties and new potentials as fungal-resistance genes. In the current review, we provide insights into the current knowledge on the molecular and biochemical properties of plant nepenthesins and highlights that future focus on them may have strong potentials for industrial applications and crop trait improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number570
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • Plants, aspartic proteases, nepenthesins, molecular properties, industrial applications, trait improvement

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