American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Papain, a Plant Enzyme of Biological Importance: A Review

Ezekiel Amri and Florence Mamboya

DOI : 10.3844/ajbbsp.2012.99.104

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Volume 8, Issue 2

Pages 99-104


Papain is a plant proteolytic enzyme for the cysteine proteinase family cysteine protease enzyme in which enormous progress has been made to understand its functions. Papain is found naturally in papaya (Carica papaya L.) manufactured from the latex of raw papaya fruits. The enzyme is able to break down organic molecules made of amino acids, known as polypeptides and thus plays a crucial role in diverse biological processes in physiological and pathological states, drug designs, industrial uses such as meat tenderizers and pharmaceutical preparations. The unique structure of papain gives it the functionality that helps elucidate how proteolytic enzymes work and also makes it valuable for a variety of purposes. In the present review, its biological importance, properties and structural features that are important to an understanding of their biological function are presented. Its potential for production and market opportunities are also discussed.


© 2012 Ezekiel Amri and Florence Mamboya. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.