A trypsin inhibitor from rambutan seeds with antitumor, anti-HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, and nitric oxide-inducing properties

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2015 Apr;175(8):3828-39. doi: 10.1007/s12010-015-1550-1. Epub 2015 Feb 18.


Nephelium lappaceum L., commonly known as "rambutan," is a typical tropical tree and is well known for its juicy and sweet fruit which has an exotic flavor. Chemical studies on rambutan have led to the identification of various components such as monoterpene lactones and volatile compounds. Here, a 22.5-kDa trypsin inhibitor (N . lappaceum trypsin inhibitor (NLTI)) was isolated from fresh rambutan seeds using liquid chromatographical techniques. NLTI reduced the proteolytic activities of both trypsin and α-chymotrypsin. Dithiothreitol reduced the trypsin inhibitory activity of NLTI at a concentration of 1 mM, indicating that an intact disulfide bond is essential to the activity. NLTI inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase with an IC50 of 0.73 μM. In addition, NLTI manifested a time- and dose-dependent inhibitory effect on growth in many tumor cells. NLTI is one of the few trypsin inhibitors with nitric oxide-inducing activity and may find application in tumor therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Sapindaceae / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Trypsin / metabolism
  • Trypsin Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Trypsin Inhibitors / isolation & purification*
  • Trypsin Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Trypsin Inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide
  • reverse transcriptase, Human immunodeficiency virus 1
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • Trypsin