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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 749078, 11 pages
Review Article

Potential Use of Atlantic Cod Trypsin in Biomedicine

1Department of Biochemistry, Science Institute, University of Iceland, Dunhagi 5, 107 Reykjavik, Iceland
2Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences and Science Institute, University of Iceland, Dunhagi 5, 107 Reykjavik, Iceland

Received 6 December 2012; Revised 9 January 2013; Accepted 27 January 2013

Academic Editor: Bernd H. A. Rehm

Copyright © 2013 Ágústa Gudmundsdóttir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Surface proteins of viruses and bacteria used for cell attachment and invasion are candidates for degradation by proteases. Trypsin from Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) was previously demonstrated to have efficacy against influenza viruses in vitro and on skin. In this paper, cod trypsin is shown to be 3–12 times more effective in degrading large native proteins than its mesophilic analogue, bovine trypsin. This is in agreement with previous findings where cod trypsin was found to be the most active among twelve different proteases in cleaving various cytokines and pathological proteins. Furthermore, our results show that cod trypsin has high efficacy against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in vitro. The results on the antipathogenic properties of cod trypsin are important because rhinovirus, RSV, and influenza are the most predominant pathogenic viruses in upper respiratory tract infections. Results from a clinical study presented in this paper show that a specific formulation containing cod trypsin was preferred for wound healing over other methods used in the study. Apparently, the high digestive ability of the cold-adapted cod trypsin towards large native proteins plays a role in its efficacy against pathogens and its positive effects on wounds.