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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 259238, 8 pages
Research Article

Purification and Characterization of Alkaline-Thermostable Protease Enzyme from Pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) Waste: A Potential Low Cost of the Enzyme

Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 14 April 2014; Revised 22 July 2014; Accepted 5 September 2014; Published 18 September 2014

Academic Editor: Jose Teixeira

Copyright © 2014 Mehrnoush Amid 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.


The thermoalkaline protease enzyme from pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) waste was purified by a factor of 221.2 with 71.3% recovery using ammonium sulphate precipitation, gel filtration, and cation exchange chromatography. Gel filtration chromatography together with sodium dodecyl sulphate gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed that the enzyme is monomeric with a molecular weight of 26.7 kDa. The apparent and of the protease were 2.8 mg/mL and 31.20 u/min, respectively. The optimum pH and temperature were 8.0 and 70°C. The enzyme was highly active and stable over a wide pH range (from pH 3.0 to pH 11.0 with the optimum activity at pH 8.0). The protease has broad specificity toward azocasein, casein, hemoglobin, and gelatine. Activity of the enzyme was inhibited by Fe2+ and Zn2+, while protease activity was increased in the presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+ and Cu2+ by factors of 125%, 110%, and 105%, respectively. The alkaline protease showed extreme stability toward surfactants and oxidizing agent. The purified protease exhibited extreme stability in the presence of organic solvents and inhibitors. In addition, the enzyme was relativity stable toward organic solvents and chelating agents, such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). The enzyme, derived from pitaya peel, possesses unique characteristics and could be used in various industrial and biotechnological applications.