Picrorhiza kurroa, an endangered medicinal plant found in the North-Western Himalayan region has a number
of medicinal properties due to the presence of metabolites picroside-I and picroside-II. It is used in various herbal formulations
like Picroliv, Livokin, Picrolax, Livomap, Tefroliv etc. Review of literature revealed that no information is available
as of today on the proteome analysis of Picrorhiza kurroa. Hence, we aim to analyse the difference in proteome of
Picrorhiza kurroa in response to ~ 17 times higher content of picroside-I at 15°C as compared to its content at 25°C.
Thus, differential protein expression was studied. Densitometry analysis of SDS-PAGE gels of samples under two differential
conditions of temperature revealed the presence of distinct set of proteins under picroside-I accumulating (15°C)
versus non-accumulating (25°C) conditions. Mass spectrometric analysis of these proteins using MALDI-TOF MS followed
by protein identification using database search on MASCOT search engine gave interesting results. The significant
proteins identified were NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase subunit K, shikimate kinase, ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase
small chain and fructokinase fragment. Hence, these findings throw light on the involvement of these enzymes in the
crucial physiological processes of Picrorhiza kurroa and can provide an insight into the biosynthesis of picrosides and
other secondary metabolites.
Keywords: Differential proteomics, MALDI-TOF MS, Picrorhiza kurroa, picroside, SDS PAGE.
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