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Table 1 Bioactive proteins isolated from Chinese medicine and their reported pharmacological effects

From: Bioactive proteins and peptides isolated from Chinese medicines with pharmaceutical potential

CM Pharmacologically active proteins or peptides Pharmacological effects
Peptides/protein from medicinal animals
Hirudo spp. (Leeches) Hirudin Anti-coagulation activity through inhibition of thrombin activity [13, 14]
Anti-proliferative activity toward human ovarian and tongues squamous cancer cells [2427]
Eisenia fetida (Earthworm) Earthworm fibrinolytic enzyme Anti-cancer activity against hepatoma in vitro and in vivo[33]
Mesobuthus martensii (Chinese scorpion) Anti-epilepsy protein (8.3 kDa) Anti-epilepsy activity in mice in vivo[36, 37]
Peptides/Protein from medicinal fungi
Cordyceps militaris Lectin designated as CML (31 kDa) Haemagglutinating activity in mouse and rat erythrocytes
Mitogenic activity on mouse splenocytes [43]
Cordymin (10.9 kDa) Anti-fungal activity through inhibition of mycelial growth in vitro[44]
Inhibitory effect on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in vitro[42]
Anti-cancer activity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells in vitro[42]
  Protease designated CMP (12 kDa) Anti-fungal activity in vitro[44]
Anti-cancer activity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells and bladder cancer 5637 cells in vitro[44]
Ganoderma spp. (Ling Zhi) Ling Zhi-8 (12.4 kDa protein) Immuno-modulatory activity through inducing maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells and stimulating IL2 and IFN-γ secretion from CD4+ and CD8+ T cells [52], [53]
Anti-cancer activity against lung carcinoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo[55, 56]
Lectin (a 18-kDa protein) Haemagglutinating activity and mitogenic activity towards BALB/c mouse splenocytes [49]
Anti-cancer activity against leukemia (L1210 and M1) cells and hepatoma (HepG2) cells [54]
Poria cocos (Schw.) Wolf P. cocos immunomodulatory protein (35.6 kDa) (PCP) Immunomodulatory activity through activating mouse peritoneal macrophages (RAW 264.7) [60]
Peptides/proteins from medicinal herbs
Viola tricolor Cyclotides Anti-cancer activity against human cancer cells U251, MDA-MB-231, A549, DU145 and BEL-7402 in vitro[63]
Momordica cochinchinensis seeds (Mubiezhi) Cochinin B (28 kDa ribosome inactivating protein) Anti-cancer activity against human cervical epithelial carcinoma (HeLa), human embryonic kidney (HEK293) and human small cell lung cancer (NCI-H187) cell lines in vitro[69]
MCoCC-1 (a 33 amino acid long peptide) Anti-cancer activity against human melanoma cell line (MM96L) in vitro[67, 71]
Chymotrypsin inhibitor designated as MCoCI (7.5 kDa) Anti-oxidative activity through activation of glutathione-S-transferase and superoxide dismutase in vitro[71]
Immunomodulatory activity through stimulating the proliferation of mouse splenocytes, splenic lymphocytes, bone marrow cells and macrophages in vitro[67]
Viscum album (Chinese mistletoe) Lectin designated as CM-1 (55 kDa) Anti-cancer activity against CLY colon cancer cells and HT-29 colorectal cancer cells in vivo and in vitro through down-regulation of micro-RNA miR-135a & b expression [73]
  Lectin designated as ACML-55 Immunomodulatory activity through enhancing both antigen specific activation and proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells as well as number of tumor antigen specific CD8+ T cells [74]
The seeds of Senna obtusifolia Novel protein (19.7 kDa) Inhibitory effect on cholesterol biosynthesis in Chinese hamster oocytes in vitro[78]
Narcissus tazetta var. chinenesis Narcissus tazetta lectin (26 kDa) Antiviral activity against human syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A and influenza B viruses [80]
Immunopotentiating activity through inducing gene expression of IL-1βand TNF-α in splenocytes and macrophages in vivo[81]
Smilax glabra rhizomes (Tufuling) Smilaxin (30 kDa) Immuno-stimulating activity in vitro[83]
Anti-cancer activity against MBL2 and PU5 cells in vitro[83]
Inhibitory effect on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in vitro[83]
Ginkgo biloba seeds (Yinxing) Ginkbilobin (13 kDa) Anti-fungal activity against Botrytis cinerea, Mycosphaerella arachidicola, Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Coprinus comatus[85]
Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli[85]
Inhibitory effect on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase [85]
Immuno-modulatory activity through inhibiting proliferation of murine splenocytes [85]
Dioscorea batata Dioscorin (32 kDa) Carbonic anhydrase activities [90]
Trypsin inhibitory activities [90]
Potential airway protective effects on A549 human airway epithelium cells [91]
Anti-oxidant properties reflected from DPPH and hydroxyl radicals scavenging effects [93]
Immuno-modulatory activity in vitro and in vivo[94, 95]
Trichosanthes kirilowii Trichosanthin (247 amino acid long peptide) Anti-HIV activity through inhibition of serum HIV-1 p24 antigen levels and increase CD4+ T cell count in HIV-1 infected patients [108, 109]
   Antiviral activity against hepatitis B virus [110, 111]