Castor seed has abundant level of proteins which are evolved spontaneously to serve the survival demands of the organism in response to the selection pressures. Among multiplicity in proteins, scientists have started focussing on three candidate proteins 2S namely albumins,Ric c1 and Ric c3 which have been earlier characterized as allergens for their biological significance.In general, bio-molecular functional definition can be arrived from analysis of its constituents and its spatial configuration that stood as bases for the functional implications in chosen castor proteins.The allergen proteins under study are found to contain a domain for digestive enzyme inhibition which made researchers to design an insect feeding bio-assay in insects Callosobruchus maculatus, Zabrotes subfasciatus, and Tenebrio molitor over their most optimal diet with parameters of insect larvae mortality and body mass gain from diet containing castor protein allergens .The results confirmed that a loss of body weight by one-fifth fraction compared to control lines which enabled researchers to arrive at the enzyme inhibitory activity from concerned plant proteins due to test domain in them.Further scientists claimed that the castor proteins are potential targets in the design of inhibitors with importance in crop protection and biomedical field.
The results seem to be promising for the feeding deterrent activity from castor proteins but it would be convincing if an in vitro enzyme assay with gut enzymes against castor allergens and histopathological analysis of insect tissues for molecular complexes would have been performed for confirmed functional implication.
For further info: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf104638b
Some interesting links