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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 973790, 9 pages
Research Article

Molecular Cloning and Characterization of Novel Phytocystatin Gene from Turmeric, Curcuma longa

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
2Biotechnology Research Center, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
3Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Malaysia

Received 3 April 2014; Accepted 8 June 2014; Published 14 July 2014

Academic Editor: Marco Bazzicalupo

Copyright © 2014 Seow-Neng Chan 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.


Phytocystatin, a type of protease inhibitor (PI), plays major roles in plant defense mechanisms and has been reported to show antipathogenic properties and plant stress tolerance. Recombinant plant PIs are gaining popularity as potential candidates in engineering of crop protection and in synthesizing medicine. It is therefore crucial to identify PI from novel sources like Curcuma longa as it is more effective in combating against pathogens due to its novelty. In this study, a novel cDNA fragment encoding phytocystatin was isolated using degenerate PCR primers, designed from consensus regions of phytocystatin from other plant species. A full-length cDNA of the phytocystatin gene, designated CypCl, was acquired using 5′/3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends method and it has been deposited in NCBI database (accession number KF545954.1). It has a 687 bp long open reading frame (ORF) which encodes 228 amino acids. BLAST result indicated that CypCl is similar to cystatin protease inhibitor from Cucumis sativus with 74% max identity. Sequence analysis showed that CypCl contains most of the motifs found in a cystatin, including a G residue, LARFAV-, QxVxG sequence, PW dipeptide, and SNSL sequence at C-terminal extension. Phylogenetic studies also showed that CypCl is related to phytocystatin from Elaeis guineensis.