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Proteomic Comparison of Three Extraction Methods Reveals the Abundance of Protease Inhibitors in the Seeds of Grass Pea, a Unique Orphan Legume

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journal contribution
posted on 06.09.2019, 18:37 by Carrie Miranda, Quanle Xu, Nathan W. Oehrle, Nazrul Islam, Wesley M. Garrett, Savithiry S. Natarajan, Jason D. Gillman, Hari B. Krishnan
Grass pea is an orphan legume that is grown in many places in the world. It is a high-protein, drought-tolerant legume that is capable of surviving extreme environmental challenges and can be a sole food source during famine. However, grass pea produces the neurotoxin β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP), which can cause a neurological disease. This crop is promising as a food source for both animals and humans if β-ODAP levels and other antinutritional factors such as protease inhibitors are lowered or removed. To understand more about these proteins, a proteomic analysis of grass pea was conducted using three different extraction methods to determine which was more efficient at isolating antinutritional factors. Seed proteins extracted with Tris-buffered saline (TBS), 30% ethanol, and 50% isopropanol were identified by mass spectrometry, resulting in the documentation of the most abundant proteins for each extraction method. Mass spectrometry spectral data and BLAST2GO analysis led to the identification of 1376 proteins from all extraction methods. The molecular function of the extracted proteins revealed distinctly different protein functional profiles. The majority of the TBS-extracted proteins were annotated with nutrient reservoir activity, while the isopropanol extraction yielded the highest percentage of endopeptidase proteinase inhibitors. Our results demonstrate that the 50% isopropanol extraction method was the most efficient at isolating antinutritional factors including protease inhibitors.