Inhibitory activity and conformation changes of soybean trypsin inhibitors induced by ultrasound

Huihua Huang, Kin Chor Kwok, Hanhua Liang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


The inhibitory activities, sulfhydryl bonds and far-UV circular dichroism (CD) spectra of Kunitz and Bowman-Birk soybean trypsin inhibitors (KTI and BBTI) were measured before and after ultrasound treatments. The differences between KTI and BBTI in conformation changes and resistance to ultrasound were observed. The secondary structures of KTI were found to be composed of β-sheet (22.5%), β-turn (16.2%) and random coils (61.4%) while that of BBTI composed of only β-sheet (52.6%) and random coils (47.4%). KTI lost its inhibitory activity more quickly than BBTI, proportionally to the ultrasound amplitudes and sonication durations used. Relevant synchronous phenomena observed included the inactivation of KTI, significant rise in sulfhydryl content and corresponding conformation changes, in which there were dramatic decreases in both β-turn and random coil contents and increase in the β-sheet structure over the entire sonication duration and ultrasonic amplitude scale used by the study. Ultrasound affected the activities and conformations of KTI and BBTI by exerting an influence on their disulfide bonds. For KTI, up to 55% of inhibitory activity could be inactivated, at which about 71.5% of disulfide bonds were altered and the [θ]200nmvalue was changed from native -2545 deg cm2dmol-1to -1827 deg cm2dmol-1. Whereas for BBTI, far-UV CD spectra, β-sheet and random structures were barely affected, only about 5.29% of disulfide bonds were found altered and the [θ]200nmvalue was changed only from native -797 deg cm2dmol-1to -700 deg cm2dmol-1. It is concluded that ultrasound inactivates KTI by inducing a reduction in the disulfide bonds and then changes the conformations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-730
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Conformation
  • Inhibitory activity
  • Trypsin inhibitor
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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