Purification of a chitin-binding protein from Moringa oleifera seeds with potential to relieve pain and inflammation

Protein Pept Lett. 2011 Nov;18(11):1078-85. doi: 10.2174/092986611797200959.


Moringa oleifera Lam. is a perennial multipurpose tree that has been successfully used in folk medicine to cure several inflammatory processes. The aim of this study was to purify and characterize a chitin-binding protein from Moringa oleifera seeds, named Mo-CBP4, and evaluate its antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. The protein was purified by affinity chromatography on chitin followed by ion exchange chromatography. Acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions assay was used for the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity assessments. Mo-CBP4 is a glycoprotein (2.9% neutral carbohydrate) composed of two protein subunits with apparent molecular masses of 28 and 18 kDa (9 kDa in the presence of reducing agent). The intraperitoneal injection of Mo-CBP4 (3.5 and 10 mg/kg) into mice 30 min before acetic acid administration potently and significantly reduced the occurrence of abdominal writhing in a dose dependent manner by 44.7% and 100%, respectively. In addition, the oral administration of the protein (10 mg/kg) resulted in 18% and 52.8% reductions in abdominal writhing when given 30 and 60 min prior to acetic acid administration, respectively. Mo-CBP4, when administered by intraperitoneal route, also caused a significant and dose-dependent inhibition of peritoneal capillary permeability induced by acid acetic and significantly inhibited leukocyte accumulation in the peritoneal cavity. In conclusion, this pioneering study describes that the chitin-binding protein Mo-CBP4, from M. oleifera seeds, exhibits anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties and scientifically supports the use of this multipurpose tree in folk medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / pharmacology
  • Analgesics / isolation & purification
  • Analgesics / metabolism
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Chitin / metabolism*
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Moringa oleifera / chemistry*
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Plant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Proteolysis
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Acetates
  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Proteins
  • Chitin
  • Endopeptidases