Novel Plant-Protein (Quinoa) Derived Bioactive Peptides with Potential Anti-Hypercholesterolemic Activities: Identification, Characterization and Molecular Docking of Bioactive Peptides

Foods. 2023 Mar 20;12(6):1327. doi: 10.3390/foods12061327.


Hypercholesterolemia remains a serious global public health concern. Previously, synthetic anti-hypercholesterolemic drugs were used for ameliorating this condition; however, long-term usage presented several side-effects. In this regard, natural products as an adjunct therapy has emerged in recent times. This study aimed to produce novel bioactive peptides with anti-hypercholesterolemic activity (cholesterol esterase (CEase) and pancreatic lipase (PL)) from quinoa protein hydrolysates (QPHs) using three enzymatic hydrolysis methods (chymotrypsin, protease and bromelain) at 2-h hydrolysis intervals (2, 4, and 6 h). Chymotrypsin-generated hydrolysates showed higher CEase (IC50: 0.51 mg/mL at 2 h) and PL (IC50: 0.78 mg/mL at 6 h) inhibitory potential in comparison to other derived hydrolysates and intact quinoa proteins. Peptide profiling by LC-MS QTOF and in silico interaction with target enzymes showed that only four derived bioactive peptides from QPHs could bind in the active site of CEase, whereas twelve peptides could bind in the active site of PL. Peptides QHPHGLGALCAAPPST, HVQGHPALPGVPAHW, and ASNLDNPSPEGTVM were identified to be potential CEase inhibitors, and FSAGGLP, QHPHGLGALCAAPPST, KIVLDSDDPLFGGF, MFVPVPH, and HVQGHPALPGVPAHW were identified as potential PL inhibitors on the basis of the maximum number of reactive residues in these bioactive peptides. In conclusion, QPHs can be considered as an alternative therapy for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.

Keywords: bioactive peptides; cholesterol esterase; pancreatic lipase; protein hydrolysate; quinoa protein.

Grants and funding

Authors would like to thank UAE University for funding this study through Asian University Alliance (AUA) grant (12F002).