Proteome analysis of pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata

J Proteome Res. 2008 Feb;7(2):809-16. doi: 10.1021/pr700566d.


The genus Nepenthes comprises carnivorous plants that digest insects in pitcher fluid to supplement their nitrogen uptake. In a recent study, two acid proteinases (nepenthesins I and II) were purified from the pitcher fluid. However, no other enzymes involved in prey digestion have been identified, although several enzyme activities have been reported. To identify all the proteins involved, we performed a proteomic analysis of Nepenthes pitcher fluid. The secreted proteins in pitcher fluid were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and several protein bands were detected by silver staining. The proteins were identified by in-gel tryptic digestion, de novo peptide sequencing, and homology searches against public databases. The proteins included homologues of beta-D-xylosidase, beta-1,3-glucanase, chitinase, and thaumatin-like protein, most of which are designated "pathogenesis-related proteins". These proteins presumably inhibit bacterial growth in the pitcher fluid to ensure sufficient nutrients for Nepenthes growth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Sarraceniaceae / chemistry
  • Sarraceniaceae / genetics
  • Sarraceniaceae / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Proteome
  • thaumatin protein, plant

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB266803
  • GENBANK/AB267384
  • GENBANK/AB289807